Uganda: forty seminarians kidnapped

 More than 40 seminarians were kidnapped by rebels in Uganda on Sunday, the Missionary News Service report. An eight-year-old boy was shot dead during the attack, at the Lacor junior seminary in Gulu district. The Lord's Republican Army (LRA) rebellion has lasted 16 years, during which time thousands of children have been abducted and conscripted to fight with the rebels. Seminary director, Fr Matthew Odong, said he feared the abducted students might be be forced to become LRA fighters. The archbishop of the diocese, John-Baptist Odama, told MISNA that he didn't think the kidnapping was intended as an attack on the Church, but a symptom of the "atmosphere of extreme insecurity that is experienced in northern Uganda". He said: "For the moment there are no new details on their fate, though I hope that everything will be resolved in the right and best way. In the meantime we shall continue to carry ahead the peace process". Last weekend the ARLPI (Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative, chaired by Archbishop Odama), together with representatives of the local government and several parliamentarians from Kampala as well as representatives of civil society launched a new organization that will have the role of promoting peace in the Acholi districts in Northern Uganda. "Oduru Kuc ('Request for peace' in Acholi language), this is the name we have given to this network of organisations, which shall coordinate all the future initiatives for the talks between the LRA rebels and the government. It is an organisation united by the will of managing to bring a little peace to this land, devastated by the violence since the end of the 1980's, " said Archbishop Odama.

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