Congo Watch: LRA blamed Christmas massacre on UPDF's Battalion 105

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

LRA blamed Christmas massacre on UPDF's Battalion 105

From Daily Nation, Nairobi December 30 2008 by Sam Kiplagat:
Uganda rebels deny killing 200 people

Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group yesterday distanced itself from the killing of more than 200 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The attacks, which started on Christmas Day, have left close to 200 people dead and more than 20,000 have fled DRC, according to UN humanitarian agency, Ocha.

But speaking to the Nation on phone on Tuesday, LRA Peace delegation leader David Nyekorach Matsanga blamed the attacks on group’s breakaway combatants who he said have since joined the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

According to Dr Matsanga, the attacks were carried out by Battalion 105 on orders of the government of Uganda.

According to the UN, the killings were reported to have been carried out between December 25 and December 27 in Faradje, Doruma and Gurba villages by LRA fighters fleeing a two-week-old multinational military offensive led by Uganda.

The agency also added that at least 20 children and an unknown number of adults were abducted during the attacks.

Dr Matsanga said the Ugandan government wanted to malign LRA’s name.

He said rebel leader Joseph Kony and the LRA command were against such attacks and would not fight back.

“I have talked to some European diplomats who are against the attacks. We will maintain peace as we await for peace talks,” said Dr Matsanga.

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