The peace talks in Juba that have been taking place since July 2006 have resulted in huge improvements in the security situation in northern Uganda. In some areas people are now returning to their homes. In other areas, people are more cautious and still remain in camps. The Government of Uganda and their development partners have agreed that the process of return must be voluntary.
Through our funding to the UN Consolidated Appeal we are helping provide humanitarian assistance both to people still living in displaced camps and those returning home. In the return areas this help includes: the provision of food to bridge the period while crops are being grown; the re-habilitation of water points; support to health services and the provision of protection programmes for women and children.
With resources from the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool, we are also purchasing vehicles and communications equipment for the Uganda Police Force in the north. This is in support of a wider programme that is seeking to reintroduce and strengthen civilian policing both in the camps and the return areas. The absence of civilian police in many part of the north has been identified by communities as a major impediment to better protection, particularly of women and children.