§ Mr. Corbyn
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have been 661W held with the Government of Uganda concerning human rights and the armed conflict in the north of the country; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Doug Henderson
We are appalled at the reports of the atrocities committed by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) against the Acholi people in the north of Uganda. We condemn these atrocities unreservedly. We recognise the right of the Government of Uganda to conduct legitimate security operations to protect its people from LRA terrorism, provided that these operations are conducted with due respect for internationally recognised standards for human rights. We believe there is not a purely military solution to the problems of northern Uganda. At a meeting with President Museveni in June 1997, the Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central (Mr. Lloyd), urged him to pursue opportunities for dialogue as a means of ending the conflict. We repeated this message in bilateral contacts with the Ugandans during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 1997. The President has since announced an intention to table legislation which would permit an amnesty for anti-government forces that lay down their weapons. We welcome such a step which could be a valuable contribution to encouraging a peaceful end to the conflict.