WORLD BRIEFING / CONGO

Times Wire Reports

Ugandan rebels this year have killed about 1,200 Congolese civilians and abducted 1,500, mostly children, in a remote region of northeast Congo, a U.N. official said.

Fighting between government forces and the Lord's Resistance Army rebels has driven 220,000 other Congolese from their homes in the Haut-Uele region, said Ross Mountain, the U.N. chief's deputy special representative to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Lord's Resistance Army is notorious for reportedly torturing, raping and mutilating civilians. The group also forces children it abducts to serve as rebel soldiers, Mountain said, and most of the people kidnapped so far this year were children.

The rebels have been waging a 20-year conflict in Uganda, one of Africa's longest and most brutal civil wars, which has spilled into Sudan and Congo. Rebel leader Joseph Kony and others are wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes that include murder, rape, enslavement and using child soldiers.

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