Tuesday, May 14, 2013

LRA: Statement by chair of security council working group on children and armed conflict

Source: UN Security Council
Published on 13 May 2013

At its thirty-seventh meeting, on 19 April 2013, the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict agreed, in connection with the examination of the first comprehensive report of the Secretary-General on the situation of children and armed conflict affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) dated 25 May 2012 (S/2012/365), to address the following message to LRA through a public statement by its Chair on behalf of the Working Group and to request the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to ensure that the message was communicated to LRA in the most effective manner:

(a) Expressing its condemnation in the strongest terms of the continued violations and abuses committed against children by LRA, and condemning the LRA recruitment and use of child soldiers, killing and maiming in violation of applicable international law, sexual violence, abductions, attacks on schools and hospitals as such and denial of humanitarian access in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan;

(b) Demanding in the strongest terms that LRA immediately cease all violations of international law, involving:

(i) Recruitment and use of children, including the use of children in non-combat roles, and urging it to facilitate the immediate release of all children remaining or newly born within the ranks of LRA;

(ii) Acts of rape and all other forms of sexual violence and exploitation, in particular against children;

(iii) Killing and maiming of children;

(iv) Abductions and attacks on civilians, in particular children;

(v) Attacks or threats of attacks on schools and hospitals, including their personnel;

(c) Recalling that the International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and enlistment of children;

(d) Encouraging all child LRA fighters and abductees to leave LRA to the extent feasible, and reminding them that there is support available to them through the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration process;

(e) Recalling that the Working Group will closely monitor, including through the reports of the Secretary-General on the situation of children and armed conflict, compliance by LRA with Security Council resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011) and 2068 (2012);

(f) Stressing that the Working Group intends to consider a broad range of options to increase pressure on LRA as a persistent perpetrator of violations and abuses against children affected by armed conflict, including by submitting information on persistent perpetrators to relevant sanctions committees.