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DR Congo: Schools reopen in Dungu after LRA attacks

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Schools in Dungu have been re-opened. They were closed after a series of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacks in the past weeks. Local sources told MISNA that while the situation has gotten calmer, parents are still too afraid to send their children to school and risk having them being kidnapped by the rebels, as happened in the nearby village of Duru, where 100 minors were kidnapped last September not to be heard from since. The same sources have confirmed that the government soldiers sent by the government on aircraft that took off from the base at Kisangani have been trying to regain control of the area, setting posts even in the villages surrounding Dungu. A group of 60 soldiers has already arrived in Ngilima (where there had been a raid by the rebels in the past few days) and in the next few weeks the soldiers are expected to take up position in the villages of Bayoté, Bangadi, Duru and Kpayka. Meanwhile, the number of people forced to abandon their homes and villages remains unclear: estimates from observers and NGO's on the ground said that some 3,000 are now in Dungu and a thousand more or so in the nearby countryside; some 5,000 have reached the South-Sudanese city of Yambio after crossing the forest. MISNA sources said that for the time being there are no severe food or health emergencies; most of the refugees now in Dungu have found shelter with friends or relatives; some have also been staying in the Combonian mission.