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14 Dec 2009 description

Nairobi/Juba_(dpa) _ Southern Sudan has faced its most violent year since the end of a decades-long civil war with the north, thanks to an increase in tribal clashes, aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said Monday.

Over 2,000 people have been killed in cattle raids this year as security worsens, threatening the fragile north-south peace deal.

MSF said that a greater response was needed to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting.

"Violence is surging, plunging people from one disaster to the next.

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 …

23 Oct 2009 description

Nairobi/Addis Ababa_(dpa) _ Exactly 25 years ago, BBC correspondent Michael Buerk unveiled the full extent of Ethiopia's now infamous drought, calling it a "Biblical famine" in the 20th century.

A cavalcade of horrors paraded before the cameras in Korem, northern Ethiopia: skeletal children clinging to their equally wasted mothers; corpses of infants wrapped in sackcloth lined up in the dust; hundreds of desperate people tottering across the plain on stick-thin legs, prompted into a shaky sprint by the rumour of a food delivery.

The harrowing pictures prompted an …

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 …

09 Sep 2009 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ The Ugandan army has captured a top official from the rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the Central African Republic, a military spokesman said Wednesday.

Uganda recently extended its operations against the LRA - which fought a decades-long rebellion in northern Uganda - to the CAR.

Captured LRA officer Mickman Opuk, believed to be a brigadier, is a "highly placed" LRA commander and a close confidant of elusive rebel leader Joseph Kony, military spokesman lieutenant colonel Felix Kulayigye told the German Press Agency dpa.

Ugandan troops …

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 …

22 Jun 2009 description

Shabtai Gold, dpa

Geneva_(dpa) _ From the very beginning, the International Committee of the Red Cross set out create societies across the world that exist during peace time and can provide a pool of well-prepared volunteers ready in case of war.

"The idea of the Red Cross was born out of war," said Stephen Ryan, who works with youth and volunteers at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the secretariat that binds together the 186 national societies and 97 million members and volunteers.

"But what about countries that are not at …

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.

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 …

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 …

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 …

22 Oct 2008 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ Most of the estimated 30,000 children abducted by Ugandan rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) during its two-decade-long war with the government were sold to fight in Sudan's restive Darfur province, Uganda's Daily Monitor reported Wednesday.

The children were first forced by the LRA to fight and commit atrocities.

20 Sep 2008 description

Nairobi/Juba_(dpa) _ About 100 militants of the Uganda Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacked a military base and three villages in southern Sudan, kidnapping about 50 children, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The children were taken to rebel hideouts in the attack which occurred Friday, a Catholic priest was quoted as saying. A UN spokesman said the attack was an indication that the LRA was trying to increase its troop levels.

Known for its massive use of forces child soldiers, the LRA has been engaged in a civil war in northern Uganda for more than 20 …

09 Sep 2008 description

Nairobi/Kinshasa_(dpa) _ The United Nations and the Democratic Republic of Congo have started a military operation directed against Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), news reports said.

Kony is refusing to sign a final peace deal after two years of negotiations and is believed to have been using the time to rearm.

The LRA, which is well-known for recruiting child soldiers, has in recent months been attacking villages and abducting people in southern Sudan, DR Congo and parts of the Central African Republic, United Nations and military officials …

05 Sep 2008 description

Nairobi_(dpa) _ Some 3 million children are at risk of death, disease and malnutrition in the Horn of Africa as aid fails to flow, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday.

More then 14 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti are critically affected, and the numbers are "on an alarming upward trajectory," UNICEF said.

"Strong national leadership is needed at this critical juncture, and more international funding must be quickly mobilized," UNICEF's Regional Director for East and Southern Africa Per Engebak …