News

    Thousands Flee LRA Attacks in Congo

    The United Nations refugee agency reported thousands of people have fled from recent attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Orientale province. The UNHCR said these displacements are particularly worrying as they come after a lull in LRA attacks in the second half of last year.

    The U.N. refugee agency said these renewed attacks are causing panic among the civilian population, which has been living under relatively secure conditions for several months. It said the Lord’s Resistance Army has been targeting the territories of Dungu and other areas in the DRC’s Orientale province.

    UNHCR spokeswoman Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba said the most recent attacks took place in the village of Bagulupa, 55 kilometers east of Dungu. “There have been 20 attacks since the beginning of this year. One person was killed and 17 abducted during these incidents," Lejeune-Kaba said.

    "Abducted civilians are often used as porters, while the LRA has forced young women into sexual slavery…According to information gathered by our staff, most newly displaced were already displaced by previous LRA attacks," Lejeune-Kaba added. "Other civilians could be displaced in areas that humanitarian agencies cannot reach due to insecurity and poor road access.”    

    Lejeune-Kaba said the newly displaced are living under harsh conditions. She said they are sleeping in makeshift settlements in and around Dungu. They lack clean drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. She said the situation of those who have fled to remote areas is worse.

    In early January, the United Nations and the Central African countries affected by the LRA agreed to toughen measures against the group to stop their deadly attacks. The governments of the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda and the DRC agreed to allow their troops to cross borders without hindrance if they were pursuing LRA forces.

    Despite these and other efforts to control the rebels, Lejeune-Kaba said security remains impossible for people because the attacks are unpredictable. “The LRA is notorious for targeting people in the most remote areas," Lejeune-Kaba said.

    "So, it takes a long time before you even find out that there have been such attacks. In this case, actually, compared to previous attacks, it took about two weeks for us to find out," Lejeune-Kaba said. "That is because the attacks took place not too far from Dungu and people came to Dungu, which is a main town in Huele district and where we have a presence along with other humanitarians.”  

    Lejeune-Kaba said the UNHCR has distributed basic emergency items, such as plastic sheeting, sleeping mats and kitchen sets to some 200 newly displaced. She said the World Food Program is providing food and private agencies medical care. But she noted more aid is needed.

    Since 2008, LRA attacks have displaced an estimated 320,000 people in Orientale province. During the same period, 30,000 Congolese refugees have fled to the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora