Tuesday, January 6, 2009

LRA attacks park, rampage continues

Some 20 people were killed in an attack by the Lord's Resistance Army on a park ranger station in northern Democratic Republic of Congo, local officials told the Reuters news agency on Monday.

The attack apparently came last Friday when dozens of LRA fighters fired on the headquarters of the Garamba National Park in the town of Negero, in Congo's Orientale province.

"Ten people were killed, including two women, two park rangers, an electrician and five other civilians who have not yet been identified," Orientale's Deputy Governor Joseph Bangakya told Reuters.

In addition, 10 LRA fighters were killed in what was described as a four-hour gunbattle with armed park rangers and Congolese soldiers based at Negero's airstrip.

The soldiers were stationed there as part of a three-week-old multinational assault on LRA strongholds in northeastern Congo.

But that is not all. In two separate attacks on Sunday, according to Reuters, LRA gunmen attacked the Congolese village of Napopo and attacked Laso, a village in Sudan. It was not immediately known if anyone died in the incidents.

The continuing attacks are yet further evidence that the multinational operation has been a failure and that LRA leader Joseph Kony is not only alive and well, but able to organize attacks at will in various locations in the DRC.

The death toll now in the wake of the botched Dec. 14th attack on Kony's camps is now well over 400, with the BBC reporting that the dead may be as many as 500 people -- all innocent civilians.

"The number of dead just keeps going up. Since the beginning of these operations, it is the civilians who are dying," said Felicien Balani, who heads a coalition of civil society groups, according to Reuters.

Estimated to number between 800 and 1,000 fighters, Ugandan and Congolese officials say the LRA has now splintered into smaller groups. Some are believed to be heading towards neighbouring Central African Republic, where the rebels have carried out raids in the past.

1 comment:

Lisa Hickey said...

Hi Peter,

I saw your post at Wildlife Direct and followed it here. When I saw your blog, I had to giggle. We picked the same color scheme. Check out my blog at: http://savingmountaingorillas.blogspot.com/

I'm new to this cause, but truly find it pulling me towards it. It's so difficult for me to stand by and read of such atrocities being prepetrated on woman and children, often by children who are my children's ages. I want to help but can't even figure out where to start. I pray every day for something to come to me, in the form of an idea. I have written letters, but mostly on behave of the civil war that was/is taken place DRC. Your blog is most definately a find for me. Thank you for posting it and I do plan on reading your books.

Sincerely, Lisa, California