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Brussels, 2 January 2009

Commissioner Michel condemns massacres by Ugandan LRA rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Commissioner Louis Michel has condemned the massacres committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Ugandan rebels in the Lord's Resistance Army: "The situation in Haut Uélé remains extremely worrying, following reprisals by the LRA against the civilian population which are thought to have led to hundreds of deaths."

Commissioner Michel called on the LRA to "halt all criminal attacks on innocent people immediately." He stressed that the continued widespread violence in the north-east of the DRC was "a brutal reminder that the problems affecting the country are not confined to Nord-Kivu."

The European Commission is closely monitoring the situation and strongly condemns the massacres by the LRA. It has called on the LRA to sign the final acts of the Juba peace agreement and comply with its terms.

Commissioner Michel warned that the actions of the Ugandan rebel group could also pose a serious threat to the stability of the entire region, including southern Sudan and the Central African Republic: "This is a real danger, which the international community must monitor very closely."

"The Commission also urges those engaged in measures to prevent the LRA from continuing its action to do everything possible to protect the civilian population and ensure respect for human rights and compliance with international humanitarian rules."

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