SEPTEMBER 11, 2009: LRA Activity Escalates in Sudan

UN says Ugandan rebels escalating attacks in South Sudan

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse (AFP

by Peter Martell

YAMBIO, Sudan, Sept 11, 2009 (AFP) - A surge in rebel attacks in southern Sudan by Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels is creating grave concern, a senior UN official said on Friday.

"Many innocent people are losing their lives every week, and the United Nations is very concerned about the killing, abduction, maiming and displacement of innocent civilians," said Ameerah Haq, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Sudan.

The Ugandan-led LRA began its campaign of brutal guerrilla raids two decades ago, but has launched a fresh wave of attacks terrorising a vast swathe of land across several nations.

There is "grave concern" about the "increasing number of deaths due to the escalating attacks," Haq said during a visit to Western Equatoria state, which has suffered the brunt of many raids with several villages burnt.

"During the last six weeks alone, 11 incidents of LRA attacks have been reported -- seven of them in the first week of September," she told reporters.

Rebels raided villages just five kilometres (three miles) from Yambio last week, while the UN was forced to airlift out aid workers from the remote town of Ezo in August following a raid.

"The worsening humanitarian situation in Western Equatoria state demands a long-term solution to the LRA insurgence," Haq added.

The rebels have also attacked settlements in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in the Central African Republic (CAR)...

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