AFRICA/SUDAN - “We fear LRA massacres at Christmas and during the referendum in January,” says the Bishop of Tombura-Yambo

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - “There are at least four villages in Western Equatoria where people live in real fear of new attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA),” Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambo, southern Sudan, tells Fides. Several aid agencies have issued warnings in recent days about possible attacks by the Ugandan guerilla group which controls a vast area stretching from south Sudan to the south-eastern Central African Republic, passing through the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We fear attacks both during the Christmas period and in early January, when a referendum on the independence of southern Sudan is to be held,” said Bishop Kussala. “Right now the population is increasingly concerned about possible violence by the LRA. So-called “Arrow Boys” have been set up as self-defense militias, armed only, however, with bows and arrows.”

Bishop Julian Andavo Mbia of Isiro-Niangara, Equatoria province, in north-east DRC, tells Fides that in his region, “the alarm is issued in the face of possible attacks by the LRA as a form of prevention. At the moment we have no concrete evidence of actual attacks by the Ugandan guerrillas in our diocese.” At Christmas time in 2008, in a series of attacks in some villages in the province of Equatoria, LRA guerrillas killed about 900 people and abducted another 700. (LM) (Agenzia Fides 21/12/2010)