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Sudan: Armed Conflict

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian impact of the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army; and if he will make a statement. (196914)

The activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have had a devastating impact on civilians in northern Uganda and parts of southern Sudan. At the height of fighting between the LRA and the Ugandan army in 2003 over 2 million people were displaced from their homes. An estimated 25,000 children and young people were abducted by the LRA between 1990 and 2006. Although many have returned, approximately 4,000 remain unaccounted for.

Since the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in August 2006 the security and humanitarian situation in the conflict affected areas has improved dramatically. The United Nations estimates that since 2006 over 400,000 people have been able to return home and a further 526,000 have moved to sites nearer to their homes where they are able to access their land. Even for those that currently remain in camps the situation has improved markedly with most people now able to access land for farming. Health and other social services have also improved with better access for trained personnel and supplies.