S. Sudan-Congo border: LRA attacks forcing Congolese to take refuge in southern Sudan
By Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aka Doctors Without Borders
Monday, 10 August 2009 via The Huffington Post
With photography and video by photojournalist Brendan Bannon, Doctors Without Borders brings you the underreported story of hundreds of thousands of Congolese who are fleeing the violent attacks of Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistant Army (LRA).Cross posted from Congo Watch 10 August 2009.
Following a military offensive against them, the LRA has intensified attacks against civilians. During these attacks, entire Congolese villages are often looted and burned to the ground; people are hacked to death with machetes and women and children are abducted as sexual slaves, forced to carry looted goods or recruited to fight.
Approximately 250,000 people have been displaced from their land and livelihoods, many of them taking refuge in Southern Sudan. These are their stories:
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From UN - Daily Press Briefing (7 August 2009) by Marie Okabe, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General - excerpt:
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR), meanwhile, says that an unprecedented 55 rebel attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have displaced some 12,500 civilians in the past month alone. This is a spike from 23 LRA attacks in May and 34 in June.
UNHCR says that the Ugandan rebels have murdered 1,273 civilians and abducted 655 children and 1,427 adults. A number of women were also raped and houses were looted and torched. Fleeing civilians have found shelter in public buildings including schools and churches. And the situation is made worse by a lack of basic medical supplies at local hospitals, while aid agencies have so far reached only half of the internally displaced persons. And that’s due to widespread insecurity in the region. You can read more about this upstairs.
The World Food Programme (WFP) fears that the recent massacre of 161 people in Southern Sudan’s Jonglei State might lead to a spate of deadly retaliatory attacks. Some 700 people have been killed since March in the region while another 19,000 were displaced. WFP and its partners have called on the Government to put an end to inter-tribal fighting, which is endangering the delivery of humanitarian aid.