Congolese flee LRA attacks

August 25, 2009 12:00 am

, BANGUI, Aug 25 – More than 1,200 Congolese have fled attacks by the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) since July and sought refuge in the Central African Republic, humanitarian officials told AFP on Monday.

Over the last two months, 1,207 refugees have been recorded in Obo and Mboki, towns in the southeastern CAR, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and local aid group Jupedec said.

The LRA, which has rear bases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has also carried out raids in the Central African Republic over the last two years, killing at least 10 people since mid-July, the UN and Jupedec said.

Three people captured during an LRA raid on Gougbere, near Obo, on August 5 have been freed in unspecified circumstances, while several others were still being held, including two children, UNOCHA said in a statement.

Besides the refugee influx, LRA attacks have also internally displaced more than 3,000 Central Africans, Jupedec’s Alexis Mbolinani said.

The LRA began its rebellion against Uganda more than two decades ago and is accused of committing atrocities against civilians in northern Uganda, south Sudan, northeastern DR Congo and the Central African Republic.

Central African Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries, has long been unstable, but five rebel groups have signed peace treaties with President Francois Bozize and a full-fledged peace forum was held in December 2008.


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