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28 Oct 2009 description

Geneva_(dpa) _ Civilians in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo live in constant fear and face a critical humanitarian situation as rebels keep up attacks, the humanitarian aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders, MSF) said Wednesday.

The attacks include the kidnapping of children and abduction of women and girls into sex slavery, Kenneth LaVelle of MSF's Swiss branch told reporters in Geneva after four months in the DR Congo.

MSF, he said, could not reach many of the people affected by what he said was a "forgotten …

21 Oct 2009 description

Henry Wasswa, dpa

Kampala_(dpa) _ Most African meetings are dominated by issues related to calamities - wars, famines and natural disasters that plague the crisis-prone continent.

Now Africa's technocrats and politicians are at it again, converging in the Ugandan capital Kampala to tackle one of the continent's most pressing problems: refugees and internally displaced people.

The Special African Union summit on refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) began Monday and the delegates are mulling how to handle the estimated 17 million people who have fled their homes …

08 Oct 2009 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ The leader of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, facing heavy pounding from the Congolese and Ugandan armies in the Congo and the Central African Republic CAR, is moving with his fighters to Chad, a Ugandan army official said Thursday.

The LRA have fought a more-than-two-decade-long rebellion against the Ugandan government in a conflict that has spilled into the neighbouring countries and displaced nearly two million people.

"(LRA leader Joseph) Kony is moving towards Chad because the pressure is too much for him from the Congolese army and our …

10 Jul 2009 description

Geneva_(dpa) _ Warning of a deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an aid group said Friday residents there live in a "permanent climate of fear."

In addition to the tens of thousands uprooted from their homes, 1,173 people have been killed and 1673 abducted between December 2008 and May 2009 in the Haut and Bas Uele regions, according to the United Nations.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said the inhabitants "live in constant fear and face a critical humanitarian …

11 Mar 2009 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ The Ugandan army on Monday killed 16 rebels and rescued 19 people abducted by rebels as part of operations in north-eastern Democratic Repubic of Congo, reported a Ugandan government newspaper Wednesday.

The fighting took place in Congo's Garamba national park as part of ongoing operations against the Lord's Resistance Army.

05 Feb 2009 description

Goma, DR Congo, Feb 5 (dpa) - Standing near the Corniche border crossing between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, Rogatien Lubula watches several transport trucks carrying blue-helmeted soldiers rumble past in a cloud of dust.

"My country has been destroyed," the 65-year-old trader complains.

"With all of their weapons," he says, motioning towards the United Nations vehicles, "they could have stopped the war long ago if they weren't more interested in sitting around eating peanuts and making money."

"I don't think the war will …

03 Feb 2009 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ The Ugandan army said Tuesday that it rescued nearly 120 civilians from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) when it stormed the rebel group's camps in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo over the weekend.

A total of 119 people, mostly women and children, were rescued in the joint operation carried out by Ugandan, Congolese and Sudanese forces against the LRA, Major Felix Kulayigye told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Ninety of the captives, who were mostly Congolese, "had been confined in one place and tied up together like slaves."

The …

30 Jan 2009 description

Paris_(dpa) _ A French aid worker was raped an robbed by several armed men in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Le Parisian newspaper said in its internet edition on Friday.

The men, who wore uniforms, robbed a group of aid workers, among them three women. The two other women were also victims of sexual aggression, the paper said.

It remained unclear whether the culprits were members of a rebel militia or soldiers of the Congolese army.

29 Jan 2009 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ The deputy leader of Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC), is preparing to give himself up, newspaper reports said Thursday.

Okot Odhiambo is in negotiations to give himself up to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in return for amnesty, government-owned newspaper The New Vision reported.

"We are in direct communication with Odhiambo, who has announced that he has defected and is seeking amnesty in Uganda," The New Vision quoted IOM's chief of …

23 Jan 2009 description

Goma_(dpa) _ Rosa Nyanzira sits on a pile of volcanic rock in the eastern Congolese city of Goma, wearing two dresses and a ragged fur coat despite the scorching summer heat.

"These clothes are all that I have," she says.

23 Jan 2009 description

Goma_(dpa) _ Before the rebels came, Justine Bengehya and Simwerai Muhanaka lived quietly with their seven children outside the Congolese town of Masisi, 50 kilometres west of the provincial capital Goma.

He was a farm labourer, she stayed home to mind the children.

But that all changed on November 29, when the city of 33,000 was captured by rebel Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda and his National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP).

The Congolese army, which had controlled the city, fled.

19 Jan 2009 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army killed hundreds of civilians in attacks - including the burning of a church - in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the weekend, a Ugandan government newspaper reported Monday.

The New Vision newspaper said the LRA, which has been fighting a guerrilla war for over two decades, attacked the villages of Tola and Libombi in north-east DR Congo, indiscriminately burning and hacking people to death.

"The rebels set ablaze a church called Bima in the Democratic Republic of Congo at midnight as the …

06 Jan 2009 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ Ugandan rebels the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) killed eight civilians as they retreated from a failed attack on the offices of a game park in north-east Democratic Republic of Congo, Ugandan officials said Tuesday.

The LRA is believed to have killed around 500 civilians in the region in recent weeks in an apparent response to a military offensive by Uganda, DR Congo and South Sudan.

"They (rebels) thought they would find some guns in the offices of the park but they did not find any," Uganda's Deputy Defense Minister Ruth Nankabirwa told Deutsche …

15 Dec 2008 description

Kampala, Uganda_(dpa) _ The Ugandan military Monday claimed success in an ongoing multinational offensive against Ugandan rebels inside the Democratic Republic of Congo, but said efforts were still underway to rescue 17,000 children abducted by the rebels.

Major Paddy Ankunda, Uganda's military spokesman, said Monday that forces from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and southern Sudan had successfully destroyed bases in the north-eastern DRC used by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), scattering the rebels.

However, many of fleeing rebels made off with children …

29 Nov 2008 description

Kampala, Uganda (dpa) The leader of a major rebel faction failed to turn up Saturday for a long-awaited ceremony to sign a truce intended to end more than two decades of war in the country's north, Ugandan military officials said Saturday.

There was no sign of Joseph Kony, head of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), army spokesman major Paddy Akunda told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Radio news reports said scores of religious and political leaders from the war-ravaged region have been waiting in the bushes of southern Sudan for days for Kony.

29 Nov 2008 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ Thousands of Congolese refugees continued to pour into neighbouring Uganda on Saturday after rebels seized two border towns in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, UN and Ugandan military officials said.

Around 2,000 Congolese refugees crossed the border between Friday night and Saturday morning, Ugandan army spokesman Captain Tabaro Kiconco told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The civilians began fleeing renewed battles around mid-week and 13,000 had entered Uganda by Thursday.

Some 27,000 Congolese have fled into Uganda since fighting between the rebels and …

19 Nov 2008 description

Nairobi/Goma_(dpa) _ A Tutsi rebel group that has been battling government forces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo is sticking to its promise to withdraw soldiers from two fronts, the UN said Wednesday.

"Since late yesterday evening we have seen them begin to withdraw," Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Paul Dietrich, military spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo (MONUC) told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

13 Nov 2008 description

Nairobi/Goma_(dpa) _ Troops from Angola and Zimbabwe are supporting the Congolese army in its battle against rebel forces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, reports said Wednesday.

12 Nov 2008 description

Nairobi/Goma_(dpa) _ Emergency aid is not reaching many of the tens of thousands of civilians displaced by fighting between rebels and government troops in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned Wednesday.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has provided food to the displaced living in refugee camps around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, but the poor security situation has prevented the delivery of aid to those stranded behind rebel lines.

"There are huge unmet needs," Erna van Goor, head of mission for MSF in Goma, told …

07 Nov 2008 description

Geneva_(dpa) _ Children have been recruited as soldiers by rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and woman and girls have suffered sexual violence, UN officials said Friday.

"The rebels need to immediately release the children," said Veronique Taveau of UNICEF, the UN Children's Fund, adding that her organization was using the radio in Congo to issue this message to the fighters.

She said at least 37 cases of child soldiers have been identified so far, with the possibility that many more are being forced into service for the militant groups, though it would …