UN's top rights official touring Uganda, including rebel-infested north

9 January 2006

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour is visiting Uganda on a weeklong official tour which will include stops in the country's troubled north.

The mission from 7 to 14 January will focus on the general human rights situation in Uganda as well as on the protection of civilians, particularly those who have been forced to flee their homes, according to the Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

In addition to Kampala, Ms. Arbour will visit Gulu in the north of the country and the Karamoja region, in northeastern Uganda.

Northern Uganda has been the scene of nearly two decades of fighting between government forces and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants against LRA leaders, while the OHCHR established an office in Uganda last year in response to reported abuses.

During her mission, the first by a High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Arbour will meet senior government officials. She will also hold talks with representatives of State institutions and civil society organizations as well as with traditional leaders.