U.N. finds traumatized villagers in Congo

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Refugee relief workers who reached villages in Democratic Republic of the Congo demolished by Ugandan rebels say they found villagers shocked and traumatized.

The team from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees made its way to Tadu and Faradje in the Congo's northeast during the weekend, the United Nations said in a news release issued at its headquarters in New York Tuesday.


"Our mission found Faradje pillaged and destroyed by fire," agency spokesman Ron Redmond was quoted as telling reporters in Geneva, Switzerland.

More than 800 houses, three schools, government buildings and health care centers had been set ablaze and most families lost their annual crop harvest, as well, the U.N. agency said.

The nearby village of Nagero had been attacked Saturday, claiming eight lives and uprooting 3,500 people, the U.N. agency said.

Redmond said the agency also has received a preliminary report of another attack Monday on Napapo that left up to eight people dead, houses burning and more people displaced.

"An unknown number of people were reportedly kidnapped," he said.

The relief agency team met with local non-governmental organizations and displaced villagers to assess the need for food, shelter and medicine.


"However, the area remains highly volatile and insecurity is a key obstacle for access by us and other agencies," Redmond said.

The United Nations said that since mid-December up to 500 people are believed to have been killed and 50,000 people displaced from their homes by attacks blamed on the Lord's Resistance Army.

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