Northern Uganda in Dire Straits, Warn Religious Leaders

GULU, Uganda, FEB. 5, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The major interreligious association in northern Uganda made an urgent appeal to all sides to put an end to the violence devastating the region.

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At its recent annual assembly here, the Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative, presided over by the Catholic Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu, issued a statement describing the conditions in these territories.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels continue to massacre civilians with impunity, said the document, according to the Misna agency. The government’s army also commits crimes against the people, the document said. And the number of displaced people has already exceeded 800,000, many of them facing malnutrition.

The document, which also pleads for international help, reads: «God is calling us to be involved in what is happening in the north of Uganda, and he says us: Speak on behalf of these people! Do something for their suffering. The situation is desperate.»

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