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Uganda: response to new needs hampered by landmines

03-04-1996 News Release 96/13

The ICRC and Uganda Red Cross Society is preparing a relief operation for victims of the fighting in northern Uganda, where clashes between government forces and the Lord's Resistance Army are reported to have left dozens dead and thousands homeless in the past two months.

A survey conducted by ICRC and Uganda Red Cross teams in Kirombe parish, near the town of Gulu, has identified 124 families in need of immediate assistance. They will be given relief supplies including plastic sheeting, household items and seed. Assessments will continue in other affected districts to determine the number of families needing emergency help.

Many civilians have been injured by anti-personnel landmines laid along village paths. Friedrich Steinemann, the ICRC's regional delegate in Kampala, said: " The mine problem has also hampered the movements of the Red Cross teams carrying out assessments of the victims'needs. We cannot go to certain areas because mines have been laid on the main roads too " .

The operation is receiving support from the ICRC's regional logistics centre in Nairobi, which on Tuesday 2 April dispatched a consignment of relief supplies by road to Kampala.

Last year the ICRC and the Uganda Red Cross Society provided assistance for more than 700 families in the Kitgum and Gulu districts affected by the ongoing conflict.