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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Retour sur un atroce massacre en RDC

by Damien Roustel

Horrific massacre in DRC reviewed

Human Rights Watch report reveals the planned execution of 321 civilians.

Translated Thursday 1 April 2010, by Karen Grimwade and reviewed by Henry Crapo

It is a report that makes for unbearable reading. On Sunday, the NGO Human Rights Watch published the first detailed enquiry into the civilian massacre perpetrated and “planned” by Ugandan rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which took place in December 2009 in Makombo in the north-eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This 67-page document reveals that at least 321 civilians were killed and another 250 abducted between 14 and 17 December 2009 during an attack by the LRA. “The Makombo massacre is one of the worst ever committed by the LRA in all its 23-year bloody history, and yet it went unreported for months”, stressed Anneke Van Woudenberg, a researcher at HRW. Active in northern Uganda since 1988, the LRA rebellion is known for being one of the most barbaric in the world. Five years ago it retreated to the far north-east of the DRC, as well as to the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan.

“LRA forces attacked at least ten villages, capturing, killing and abducting hundreds of civilians, including women and children. The overwhelming majority of the victims were adult men who LRA soldiers tied up before killing them with machetes or crushing their skulls with axes and clubs”, reveals the report. With a withdrawal of United Nations peacekeepers on the cards, the UN Security Council will visit the DRC in mid-April to assess civilian safety.

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