The European Commission has condemned the Christmas Day massacre by Ugandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A statement from the EU in Brussels warns that the atrocity has threatened stability throughout the Great Lakes Region and calls for an urgent return to peace.
The situation in the northeast DRC remains tense after Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) killed more than 400 Congolese nationals.
The EU Development Commissioner, Louis Michel, called on the LRA to immediately cease all criminal acts against the innocent people.
The rebels have denied any responsibility and accused troops from Uganda, the DRC and South Sudan of bombing civilians. However UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working in the area say the attacks around the town of Dungu were the work of the LRA, who were identified by local by their dreadlocked hair, their language and their manner of operation.
The LRA attacks followed the launching on December 14 of the joint military operation against it by the three countries. It was prompted after the repeated refusal of LRA Joseph Kony to sign a peace deal with the Government of Uganda.
Tens of thousands of people were killed and maimed in two decades of fighting between the Ugandan government and the LRA. The group is notorious for abductions of children for use as soldiers and sex slaves.
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