NOVEMBER 17, 2009: Security Council Calls On UN Missions to Help Protect Civilians From Rebels

Security Council Calls On UN Missions to Help Protect Civilians From Rebels
 
SOURCE: UN News Service
 
The Security Council today called on United Nations missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan to coordinate strategies to protect civilians from the rebel Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which has killed, kidnapped and displaced thousands of people.

In a press statement read out by Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting of Austria, which holds the monthly presidency for November, the 15-member body "expressed deep concern at the direct and serious threat the activities of the LRA pose to the civilian population, the conduct of humanitarian operations and regional stability."

It commended States in the region for their increased cooperation, welcomed their joint efforts to address the serious threat posed by the LRA, and encouraged them to share information with UN operations in the region so as to make every possible effort to ensure the protection of civilians, in particular women and children.

The LRA, which terrorized northern Uganda for two decades before spilling over into neighbouring countries, has been accused of committing atrocities including mutilations and the recruitment of child soldiers.

The Council reiterated previous demands that the LRA immediately cease all attacks on civilians, and urged them to surrender, assemble and disarm, as required by an unfulfilled peace agreement which the group's leader Joseph Kony has refused to sign.
 
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