Kampala — A Special UN representative for children in armed conflict has ordered the Lord' Resistance Army rebels to release all children, women and non-combatants from captivity.
Radhika Coomaraswamy said the issue of LRA captives would be discussed at a UN Security Council meeting on November 28.
She urged the international community to ask the LRA to abide by its verbal pledges to release children, women and non-combatants.
"LRA has agreed to do so following the cessation of hostilities agreement with the Uganda government in August 2006. They must fulfil their obligations for the sake of the children and the peace process," she said at celebrations to mark the Universal Day of the Child on Monday.
According to the UN Secretary General's annual report on the situation of children in armed conflict, the LRA, led by Joseph Kony continues to abduct children for use as combatants and sexual slaves in northern Uganda, although the total number of abductions has significantly reduced.
Coomaraswamy said, "Children deserve protection. Violation of their rights must stop and impunity must end."