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December 29, 2009

LRA continues to murder, mutilate, abduct displace and terrorize civilians in Congo and Sudan

woman mutilated by the LRA
28 December 2009
In the past 10 months some 1,300 civilians have been murdered in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo by the Lord's Resistance Army, according to latest reports by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The report on the DRC states that at least 1,200 civilians were killed, including women who were raped before they were executed. About 1,400 people were abducted or are missing.
"During their captivity, abductees were subjected to forced labor in fields, forced to carry looted goods or personal effects or recruited into the LRA. Women were forced to marry LRA members, subjected to sexual slavery, or both,"
"Thousands of homes, dozens of shops, at least 30 schools, health centers, hospitals, churches, markets, and traditional seats of chiefdoms, were looted, set on fire and over 200,000 people were also displaced."

Describing harrowing experience from victims, the report called on the international community to co-operate with the ICC in investigating, arresting all LRA leaders accused of international crimes.

The report also accused the DRC army of human rights violation of the displaced persons instead of protecting them.
"Soldiers of the Congolese armed forces, supposed to protect civilians, also committed human rights violations, including executions, rape, arbitrary arrests and detentions and illegal, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and extortion," the report said.

The report states that attacks, systematic and widespread human rights violations carried out since mid-September 2008 against Congolese civilians may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Sudan report on the other hand based on 27 confirmed attacks, reveals that at least 81 civilians were killed in attacks and many others injured.
"The evidence presented in this report suggests that LRA actions may amount to crimes against humanity," The report recommends that the United Nation Mission in Sudan should exercise its protection of civilians since its mandated to prevent further loss of life.

"The international community, including governments, should cooperate with the ICC to search for, arrest and surrender the LRA leaders accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The international community should support meaningful peace efforts between governments in the region and the LRA," the report recommends.
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