Congo: missionary brings first reports from no-go area

A Comboni missionary, whose name shall remain anonymous for security reasons, has taken a motorcycle trip along tortuous paths amid the forests of the Eastern Province to collect witness accounts of civilians fleeing from the violence perpetrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) bandits.

The missionary took four days to travel the 50 kilometres separating the centre of Dungu from the village of Taaduru. The missionary told MISNA that the road was used, until not long ago, by trucks run by the World Food Programme (WFP); now, it has become a very risky road because of the presence of the LRA.

During the days when the trip was made, the LRA attacked some civilians who were fishing near the Dungu river.  Of the four, the oldest managed to flee and send warning, a woman whose leg is wounded, managed to hide, a young man was killed,  while the youngest boy was probably forced to join the ranks of the LRA.

This is just one example, of something which happens very often in the Eastern Province where the presence of regular troops is often useless. In Taaduru, around 500 people are are sharing what they have with the government troops, who have not been paid for months. Not far from there, in Limai, on 30 January, one civilian and one bandit was killed by the military. According to the latest report published by the UN Humanitarian Affairs Cooridnation Office (OCHA), between December 2009 and January 2010, the LRA has killed about 100 people. The population is being helped by a few international NGO’s and by the diocesan Caritas which is looking after 4000 people driven from their homes and who have found refuge in Dungu.

Source: MISNA

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