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May 2, 2010

Another LRA massacre. This time 100 villagers slaughtered , more mutilated in Congo

By MICHELLE FAUL (AP) The young woman with the hacked-off lips and stitches where one ear used to be shakes her head when asked why rebels did this to her, then whispers that the attackers who came from across the river were angry because she kept crying for mercy and calling on God for help. Cornelia Yekpalile, a 23-year-old mother of four children, was mutilated 18 days ago when she went to the fields near her village of Kpizimbi, set in dense forest in northeast Congo, to collect spinach-like pondu leaves to cook for lunch.

It's an area so difficult to reach that U.N. officials on Saturday announced a previously unreported massacre that occurred two months ago: up to 100 people were killed when the rebel Lord's Resistance Army attacked a village.
It comes two months after one of the worst massacres recently committed by the LRA, the killings of more than 300 civilians in the area in the second week of December. Rebels also kidnapped more than 250 people including 80 children, according to the U.N.

"In this district, the Lord's Resistance Army has continued to commit horrific atrocities against civilians, who are now displaced with no prospect of going back home any time soon", Holmes said Saturday, on the third day of a four-day tour from his New York headquarters.

The latest attacks highlight the need for the continued presence in Congo of the U.N. military mission, Holmes said. Congo's government wants MONUC — the largest U.N. peacekeeping mission with some 20,000 troops — to leave before September 2011.

"We are worried by the prospect of a premature withdrawal because MONUC is very important to our humanitarian activities," Holmes said in an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday. "If you withdraw that element of stability that is MONUC then other conflicts contained by the presence of MONUC may get out of control and you could find yourself in a much more dangerous situation."
 Rwandan rebels who helped perpetrate their countries 1994 genocide, fled across the border continue to attack civilians, killing, burning homes and driving some 1.4 million from their homes.

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