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UN Condemns Attack on DRC Refugee Camp

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VOA News - June 5, 2008


Alan Doss

United Nations officials are blaming Rwandan rebels for a deadly attack on a refugee camp in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The officials say fighters from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) killed nine people and wounded more than 20 when they opened fire Wednesday on the displaced persons' camp in Kinyandoni, North Kivu province.

In a statement Thursday, U.N. special representative Alan Doss called the attack a "terrorist act" that should be regarded as a war crime.

The FDLR rebels have condemned the attack and denied any involvement.

Marjon Kamara, director of the U.N. refugee agency's Africa Bureau, expressed shock and anger that displaced people - already the victims of fighting in the region - would be directly targeted.

The camp houses people who have fled fighting in North Kivu involving government soldiers, Hutu rebels, Tutsi insurgents and local militiamen.

In a statement issued today, the FDLR asked the U.N. Mission to Congo to stop making accusations against it without prior investigation.

Those wounded in the attack included two aid workers with the U.N. refugee agency. The agency is evacuating its staff and temporarily suspending its operations in the area.

Congo is still recovering from a five-year civil war that drew in several neighboring countries and killed more than four million people, mostly through disease and starvation. North Kivu province remains home to multiple rebel and militia groups.


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