KAMPALA, June 26 (Xinhuanet) -- A committee from the Ugandan parliament has said that in the last 12 months alone, it is estimated that over 8,000 children have been abducted owing to thespread of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel activity.
In its report brought to the parliament this week on the LRA insurgency in northern Uganda, the Parliament Select Committee on Humanitarian and Security Affairs said that "it is estimated that between 20,000 and 25,000 children have been abducted in the course of the LRA conflict. These have since been indoctrinated, turned into fighters, sex slaves, load carries and are forced ontothe front-line to fight and conduct all forms of atrocious acts against the local communities."
The report said that figures are not enough to measure the costof the war in Acholi, Teso and Lango sub-regions, but it put the net economic cost of the conflict in the Acholi sub-region over the past 16 years at over 1.33 billion US dollars.
It said that 631 million Ugandan shillings (about 340,000 dollars) is required to feed over 1.6 million internally displacedpersons (IDPs) daily.
The reported pointed out that "food is a big problem" for the IDPs in the camps, saying that "the committee was informed that the World Food Program was going to face severe pipeline breaks for cereals from July and a complete break for beans from October and vegetable oil from November 2004."
"The total shortfall for May-December 2004 is 102,000 tons of food, valued at 54 million dollars," it said.
The report also said that there was an acute shortage of water,especially safe drinking water, adding that "women had been killed while attempting to look for water away from the camp."
Therefore the committee re-stated the position of parliament that the government should declare the affected area a disaster area. Enditem