Monday, December 29, 2008

Massacres, Sexual Abuse, and Ebola

OCHA, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reports that the LRA has massacred 189 people in northeast Congo over the past three days: 40 in Faradje district, 89 around Doruma and 60 in the Gurba area. The LRA is fleeing a Uganda-led offensive aimed at eliminating Joseph Kony, the LRA's enigmatic leader. (It is not clear if these numbers include the 45 reportedly hacked to death in a church in Doruma.) This means that the LRA are spread over an extensive region in northeast Congo, as this google earth screen grab shows. OCHA's report is here. Details: The LRA are said to currently occupy seven villages near Doruma. During their assault on Faradje, the LRA kidnapped approximately 20 children and burned 120 homes. They then fled toward Nagoro and Aba. The entire population of Faradje, some 30,000 people, is said to have fled to Tadu and Kpodo. MONUC condemned the massacre, and transported a company of Congolese soldiers to the town.

Meanwhile, MSF reports that 11 people have died in a recent outbreak of Ebola in Mweka, in Kasai Occidental and said another 24 are feared infected. It is the first Ebola outbreak in Africa since February and the fourth in DR Congo since 1976. Update: This report says 92 are feared infected.

And MONUC says it is investigating allegations of sexual abuse of minors by its peacekeeping troops posted in the Kivus.

Other than that, how was your Christmas?

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