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African bishop decries barbarity of Lord’s Resistance Army

Catholic World News - March 24, 2010

A Spanish-born missionary bishop has lamented the barbarity of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group that is acting with impunity in his Central African Republic diocese.

“The rebels used an unprecedented level of violence on the poor defenseless civilians,” said Bishop Juan-José Aguirre Muñoz of Bangassou. “They hurt the people first and then ended their lives with machetes.”

“The LRA rebels reached Agoumar on Sunday, March 21, around 2:00 in the afternoon,” the bishop said. “There were about 30 of them, including 5-6 women. Several of them were no more than 17 years old. They killed 18-20 people, some of them in a barbaric manner, with machetes. They looted everything they could find and then fled, forcing 20-25 children to follow them as porters.”

Bishop Aguirre Muñoz praised the courage of Father Kodian, a Polish Franciscan who buried the victims after others had fled the village.

“The LRA rebels act in this area with total impunity,” he added. “The Central African army does not appear anywhere.”

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