Ugandan rebels kill civilians in DRC, says UN

Ugandan rebels have killed at least nine civilians in a wave of attacks in the far northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels stormed about 30 villages in a region about 30km southwest of Aba in Orientale province, killing nine people, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said in Kinshasa.

The rebels also kidnapped 16 others, including four children, according to an Ocha statement, while a source in the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said food and non-food products were looted in raids that “led to the displacement of hundreds of people”.

On June 3 a policeman and a civilian were killed at Dakwa, a small village about 400km west of Aba, in another raid blamed on the LRA, which is one of several armed groups operating in the region, according to UN officials and the Ugandan army.

The Ocha says that more than 1 000 civilians have been killed by the LRA since December 2008 in Orientale province, where there were at least 24 rebel attacks in May when 47 people were kidnapped, including 34 children.

Between the end of 2008 and March 2009, the DRC, Ugandan and South Sudanese armies launched a major joint military operation against the LRA and its leader, Joseph Kony, but did not succeed in neutralising the rebel force, which has long battled in north Uganda and retreated across the DRC border.—Sapa-AFP

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