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Rebels hack 45 people to death at Catholic church in Congo

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The Ugandan army on Sunday accused Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels of hacking to death 45 people in a church in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

An aid official confirmed Friday's massacre, saying the killings took place in a Catholic church in the Doruma area, around 40 kilometers from the Sudanese border.

"There are body parts everywhere. Inside the church, the entrance and in the church compound," the aid official said.

"We got information the rebels cut 45 people into pieces," added army spokesman Captain Chris Magezi.

"They were cut with pangas (machetes) and hit with clubs but some luckily managed to escape. Our forces came to know about the killings while pursuing the LRA yesterday (Saturday) and the pursuit is on for the killers."

Magezi said the victims, mostly women, children and the elderly, were mutilated in the style used by Hutu extremists during the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Magezi later said 13 of the insurgents were shot dead by the forces.

"We came in contact with the group that killed the civilians in the church near Doruma. We put 13 of them out action and we recovered from them nine sub-machine guns," he said. "We are pursuing the rest of the group."

Forces from Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and south Sudan launched a joint operation against the Ugandan LRA rebels in northeastern DR Congo earlier this month.

The vice-governor of Orientale province, Joseph Bangakya Angaze, said by telephone that "fighting has broken out around Doruma since Friday, between elements of the LRA and local groups" set up to defend their communities.

Magezi had also accused the rebels of killing 35 civilians in attacks on Wednesday and Thursday in areas in south Sudan and northeastern Congo.

But LRA spokesman David Nyekorach Matsanga denied the rebels were behind any of the killings.

"Reports about the LRA killing innocent civilians is another propaganda campaign by the Uganda army," Matsanga said.

"I am not a military spokesman for the LRA but I have it on good authority from the field commanders that the LRA is not in those areas where the killings are reported to have taken place.

"We need an independent verification to know who is responsible for these killings in Doruma because LRA has stated before we want peace not war because fighting won't help," he said.

The two sides have been engaged in peace talks led by the government of South Sudan for more than two years.

On Saturday, Matsanga said the LRA chief Joseph Kony was still open to talks but preferred Tanzanian or South African mediation because south Sudan was involved in the military offensive.

Kony has repeatedly refused to sign a peace deal with Kampala because of International Criminal Court arrest warrants against him and his lieutenants for war crimes.

But Magezi insisted the killings of civilians will not deter the joint forces from hunting the rebels. He also condemned "these heinous acts by the LRA terrorists."

"They (LRA) think by killing innocent civilians the allied forces will be intimidated to back off from the operation. They are misleading themselves," said Magezi, who is also the spokesman of the regional forces.

"We will continue to pursue them and they will pay with their blood."

Uganda has already signed the final peace agreement concluded in April to end the civil conflict that has ravaged the country's northern region.

Kony's rebels are accused of having raped and mutilated civilians, forcibly enlisting child soldiers and of massacring thousands during two decades of conflict.

Kony, a semi-literate former altar boy, took charge in 1988 of a regional rebellion among northern Uganda's ethnic Acholi minority.

© Wire reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

5 Comments
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"Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)" Catholics too, it seems.

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Oh my god!!! I cannot believe how dreadfull this is. How can people be so wicked, they are sub human.

This story has made me cry.

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There seem to be times when genocide is a viable option. The LRA needs to wiped off the face of the earth! This type of crime is not commited by human beings but by rapid animals!

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People are losing their lives while gunmen or machetemen run amok. Shake Hands with the Devil told the tales of Rwanda, yet the horror is happening in Uganda and other countries.

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LRA's kony does not want to do peace deals,because he fears International Criminal Court prosecutions for his LRA wars. ICC/Kony/Museveni/Africa Union/UN must stop north uganda wars and help the people get peace to move on with economic development in rich unused lands of north Uganda/Africa.

Uganda sells raw coffee at prices 20 times less than when its sold in EU by Nestle. Nestle,Unilever, and other food corporations should open more food processing factories to up economic benefits levels in africa. Unfair deals causing more poverty and woes for people of africa,who are just coming out of old ways of progress into modern era.

They need progress like in India and China. Africa total population is less than India,yet they are so far from levels of sucess of India/asia nations. Much of africa is unused for economic developments because of many factors. This raw deals like in coffee business, not helping africans move up faster into modernisations like in India. They need more help from global corporations to modernise like in India/china. Africa potential can be a big factor to help up revenues in global trade.

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