Caritas reports Christmas Day massacre in Congo by Ugandan rebels
29 December 2008
Caritas is shocked by its staff reports of a series of massacres in the Democratic Republic of Congo carried out by Ugandan rebels on Christmas Day and the days following.
Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of 162 national Catholic charities, says it has received disturbing reports from the field of a killing spree carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group.
Caritas Dungu-Doruma, the local Caritas, say that over 400 people have been killed in the attacks in an area of northern Congo including Faradje, Duru, Gurba, Doruma, and Province Orientale.
The Director of Caritas Dungu-Doruma says that the Ugandan rebels attacked a Christmas Day concert in Faradje City organised by the Catholic church there. He says the rebels returned the next morning to continue their killing spree. He says approximately 150 people were killed over the two days.
At the same time, another attack was perpetrated in Duru, north of Dungu. Caritas reports 75 people killed and the Church burned down.
Caritas reports that the killing continued along the Sudan border, including in Bangadi, Doruma and Gurba. Caritas reports 48 dead in Bangadi and that in Gurba 213 people were killed. Approximately 6,500 people have found refuge in the area with the Catholic church.
Caritas also reports that children are being abducted by the LRA, who use them as child soldiers.
Caritas Dungu-Doruma is pleading for peace and urging the Congolese government to provide security to the population from these attacks.
Caritas says that the areas have been plundered, leaving the people in desperate need of aid. Caritas says that the number of dead bodies risk spreading disease.
Over the past two months, villagers have been uprooted because of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacks. The rebels have burnt villages and killed and abducted people who cross their path.
Caritas Internationalis is supporting the work of Caritas Dungu-Doruma through a global appeal to its members. Caritas Dungu-Doruma carried our a food distribution on 14 December to 4000 families.
Caritas has given out items such as covers, clothes, cutlery, plates and soap in the diocese of Dungu-Doruma to help those who have left everything behind.
Contact Patrick Nicholson on 0039 334 359 0700