In-depth: Life in northern Uganda

UGANDA: "when the sun sets, we start to worry..."

The future of these children hangs in the balance as insecurity ravages northern Uganda
NAIROBI, 5 January 2004 (IRIN) - [1 June 2007: IRIN announces a new In-Depth on the LRA peace process, "Living with the LRA", featuring news, analysis, background reports, interviews, film, photo and original reporting which will be added to as the process continues.]

The long-running conflict in northern Uganda is one of extreme brutality and callousness. Characterised as one of the world’s "forgotten crises" by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, it has recently escalated to engulf huge swathes of the countryside, trapping tens of thousands of innocent people in a seemingly endless cycle of violence and suffering.

Using personal testimonies and powerful black-and-white photographs, "When the Sun Sets, We Start to Worry..." aims to draw attention to the plight of more than a million Ugandan children, women and men whose present existence encompasses a degree of misery and horror seldom seen elsewhere.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and more specifically its Regional Support Office for Central and Eastern Africa and its Integrated Regional Information Networks have collaborated on this publication, thereby fulfilling a key element of their mandate to assist and advocate for the rights of people suffering in disasters and emergencies.

"When the Sun Sets, We Start to Worry..." portrays the extraordinary resilience demonstrated by the people of northern Uganda as they piece together lives disrupted by violence, and cherish hopes and dreams whose fulfilment depends on the return of peace to their region.

In addition to highlighting the complex human dimensions of the crisis, the book reinforces and supports the call from humanitarian observers for a peaceful settlement of the conflict and the return to a dignified life for the victims.