Church body backs Benn on solution to 17-year Uganda war

The Church Mission Society has backed development secretary Hilary Benn's call for a non-military solution to the war in Uganda.

Benn, in Uganda for talks with President Yoweri Museveni, said that the kidnapped child soldiers of the Lord's Resistance Army should be persuaded to return to normal life and not be punished for their crimes.

The society has launched a joint effort with other humanitarian agencies to end the 17-year war waged by cult leader Joseph Kony.

Jenny Taylor, head of media at the society, welcomed Benn's intervention.

"What he has said can do nothing but strengthen the hand of all people working to bring an end to this terrible situation," she said.

Because of Benn's visit she said the UK media was describing the conflict in Uganda as a war rather than a rebellion.

More than 800,000 people live in "protected camps" in Northern Uganda and thousands of children have been kidnapped to fight.

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