World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


5,000 Congolese Arrive In Sudan After Rebel Attack

At Least 5,000 Congolese Arrive In Sudan After Attacks By Rebels – UN

New York, Oct 7 2008 11:10AM

At least 5,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have arrived in South Sudan in the past two weeks after fleeing “ferocious” attacks by the notorious Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

Ron Redmond, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva that an estimated 150 Congolese are crossing every day into the villages of Sakure and Gangura, in the Yambio area of South Sudan.

A three-member UNHCR team was in Yambio over the weekend to assess the needs of the new arrivals and to arrange assistance for them.

“Refugees told UNHCR that they fled their villages near Dungu, in north-eastern DRC, because of ferocious attacks by members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA),” Mr. Redmond said.

“In Gangura, our team spoke to several refugees who gave harrowing accounts of their flight. One refugee, who had just arrived on a bicycle, said that his wife and daughter had been abducted. It took him a week to travel to Gangura because he had to evade LRA roadblocks and ambushes – obstacles cited by other refugees as well,” he stated.

Local authorities in Sakure told UNHCR they were very concerned by the security situation in north-east DRC, saying that they had information that Moro village – some 58 kilometres inside the DRC – was attacked on Sunday. “They said that children were abducted, houses burned and inhabitants endured a lot of violence," said Mr. Redmond.

The refugees told UNHCR they did not wish to return home until the threat of the LRA has been removed, adding that they had nothing to return to anyway since their homes and belongings were destroyed.

UNHCR teams are scheduled to go back to Sakure and Gangura on Wednesday to continue interviewing refugees and start registering them.

Meanwhile, refugees wounded during the LRA attacks in DRC during the past two weeks are being treated at the Médecins Sans Frontières clinics in the region.

UNHCR is trying to organize a food distribution but is facing logistical problems owing to poor roads in the area. The agency is working with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), who both have a presence in Yambio, to respond to the influx.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>