Ugandan rebel forces operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) killed six civilians in a deadly attack in the north-eastern village of Bangadi, the United Nations peacekeeping mission to the DRC reported today.
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) – a notorious militia believed responsible for killing over 200 people, including 159 children, in the DRC since mid-September – looted homes and communal facilities in Bangadi before setting them ablaze on Sunday morning, according to the mission (known as MONUC).
Earlier this month, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that at least 5,000 refugees from the DRC had arrived in southern Sudan recently after fleeing the LRA. This time, however, the rebels met with stiff resistance from the villagers and left without kidnapping any children during the attack or causing further damage.
The LRA is already notorious for its use of child soldiers during its conflict with the Ugandan Government since the mid-1980s, and several of its most senior figures have been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes.
Meanwhile, DRC armed forces (FARDC) have called on the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to adhere to the Nairobi Communiqué – an agreement from November 2007 under which both parties agreed to work together against threats to peace and stability in the region – or face punitive action.
The agreement calls for FDLR combatants, a mainly Hutu militia group, to be disarmed and repatriated to Rwanda, which it is widely believed would help restore security and stability in the eastern DRC and in the wider Great Lakes region.