Uganda rebels accused of killing hundreds in DRC

Ugandan rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) slaughtered at least 620 people and abducted more than 160 children in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during a Christmas rampage, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

“The LRA went in intending to kill and they left few survivors,” Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior researcher at the New York-based rights group said in a statement received on Sunday.

The assessment came after researchers from HRW and Congolese rights group Justice Plus conducted a two-week mission in DRC, collecting lists of people killed or abducted between December 24 and January 13.

The United Nations said on Tuesday that it estimated 537 people had been killed by the LRA.

“At several sites where the killings took place, researchers found fresh graves, pools of dried blood, cords used to tie up prisoners and blood-stained bats and axes used to kill victims,” the HRW statement said.

Most of the killings and kidnappings took place on December 24 and 25 in the northern province of Orientale.

Ugandan, Congolese and south Sudanese forces have launched a joint campaign against the LRA. The operation’s 30-date mandate expired January 14, but Uganda wants to extend the hunt for the LRA leader.—AFP

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