Nineteen aid agencies have called for efforts to prevent mass killings by one of Africa’s most feared rebel militias over the Christmas period.
The aid agencies vigilant of LRA atrocities included: Broederlijk Delen, CAFORD, Christian Aid, Conciliatino Resources, CORDAID, Danish Refugee Council, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Intersos, Norwegian Refugee Council, OXFAM, Pax Christi Flanders, Peace Direct, Refugees International, Resolve, Society for Threatened Peoples, Tearfund, Trocaire, War Child UK, World Vision.
The aid agencies say a concerted effort is needed to stop the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from committing what have become known as “Christmas massacres”.
On Christmas Day 2008 and over the following three weeks, LRA killed than 800 people in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and southern Sudan, abducting hundreds more.
In December 2009, the brutal militia killed more than 300 villagers in the DRC in the run-up to Christmas.
According to eyewitnesses living in the area, the rebels have intensified their attacks against civilian targets in the area where they operated before in 2008.
Speaking on the phone to Sudan Tribune, Enosa Sette Aguno the Commissioner of Maridi County said that the “LRA clandestinely attacked Zumaro village at 12:00AM killed two people and wounded another four, and estimated 50 people are believed to have been abducted.”
Sette said that the four wounded civilians, including two women and a small child, were treated at Maridi Hospital.
The commissioner said that eyewitnesses estimated the “LRA forces that attacked last night at about one battalion.”
Commissioner Sette said that the southern army – the SPLA – and a local vigilante group established to protect communities from the LRA, known as the Arrow Boys are pursuing the LRA rebels. He said that the “situation is under control” with the, SPLA and Joint Integrated units of soldiers from Sudan’s southern and northern army have received reinforcements.
The armed forces are attempting to reach another village where night time attacks were reported to see if anyone was hurt or killed.
Blamed for terrorizing northern Uganda for more than two decades the LRA were pushed out of the areas by the Ugandan army in 2005 first into Sudan but they have since spent more time in Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic, after nearly two years of peace negotiations ended in failure.