UN's Ban Ki-moon Condemns Recent LRA Attacks

1160 Views Kampala, Uganda
Strong condemnation against atrocities reportedly committed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the Democratic Republic of Congo last week, has been delivered by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. A statement issued by Mr. Ban's office on yesterday (Tuesday) demands that the LRA respect all rules of international humanitarian law. According to reports from the Congo and Southern Sudan, more than 200 people were killed during the Christmas period by the LRA rebels. The attacks were centered around the Congolese town of Faraje and Dungu where women and children, several doctors, two priests, a school inspector and a pharmacist were among those killed. The Catholic charity organization, Caritas, says the figure could be much higher. According to Patrick Nicholson, Caritas' spokesperson, the rebels were identified by their dreadlocked hair and the fact that they spoke Acholi. The UN Mission in the DRC, known by its French acronym MONUC, says an increasingly high number of civilians have been killed by LRA rebels fleeing a joint military operation by the DRC, Uganda and Southern Sudan. It is not possible to give an exact figure due to the remoteness and lack of communications in the region. In his statement, the UN Secretary-General called on the Ugandan, DRC and southern Sudanese forces on the ground to coordinate with the humanitarian community and UN missions in the region to ensure the effective delivery of aid to those affected by the LRA attacks. Mr. Ban's Deputy Special Representative for the DRC Leila Zerrougui yesterday met with Congo's National Security Council to discuss the Government's needs. She informed them of MONUC's willingness to do everything in its power to support the Government's efforts to face the situation. About 30,000 people have been forced out of their homes by the latest attacks by the LRA. The majority fled to Tadu, 37 kilometres away, and Kpodo, 11 kilometres away. Humanitarian sources say the LRA have occupied seven villages in the surrounding Congolese territory of Doruma: Batande, Manzagala, Mabando, Bagbugu, Nakatilikpa, Nagengwa and Natulugbu.


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