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Massacre in Makambo

March 28, 2010

Gorillas are not the only species that are being threatened in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A new report from Human Rights Watch details a four day massacre that took place in December 2009.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) killed at least 321 civilians, while capturing 250 others. Among the dead were 13 women and 23 children. One of the children, a 3-year-old girl, was found burned to death.

The massacre is described as “one of the worst ever committed by the LRA.”

There are reports that men were “tied up” and “hacked to death with machetes” or their skulls were crushed “with axes and heavy wooden sticks.”

Those who managed to escape their LRA abductors claimed captured children “were forced to kill other children who disobeyed the LRA’s rules” by surrounding the victim in a circle then taking turns “beating the child on the head with a large wooden stick until the child died.”

The LRA has demonstrated that it is a dangerous group that posses a direct danger to civilians. A civilian is an unarmed person who is not a member of the police force or military. A civilian should be able to live his or her life freely without having to worry about being attacked; the role of government is to provide for the safety of its citizens.

The DRC government needs to work with the UN to increase the number of peacekeepers in the country and put a stop to the LRA by capturing those responsible for the massacre and bringing them to justice for their crimes.

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