Lord's Resistance Army forces killed 26 civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo in June alone, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Wednesday.
"In June 2011, 53 attacks attributed to the LRA, including 50 in the areas of Dungu and Faradje, resulted in 26 deaths, 21 kidnappings (including 10 children) and five wounded," a statement said.
The attacks by the Uganda-born rebel group -- which has been terrorising civilians in several neighbouring countries in recent years -- took place in the DRC's northeastern Orientale province.
"The persistance of attacks by suspected members of the Lord's Resistance Army and other unidentified armed men along the Dungu-Faradje road risks jeopardising humanitarian access and the supply of goods to the Haut-Uele district," the UN said.
OCHA explained that the LRA's modus operandi was to conduct lightning raids during which they loot food supplies and kidnap residents, sometimes only for short periods to carry the plunder.
According to OCHA, tens of thousands of people were displaced by LRA attacks in the area since the start of the year, worsening a humanitarian situation which the UN describes as one of the worst in the world.
Born in 1988 of the frustration of Uganda's marginalised Acholi ethnic group, the LRA led by former altar boy Joseph Kony was a movement drawing on messianic beliefs and a smattering of Christian motifs.
Kony, now wanted by the International Criminal Court, appears to have dropped any national political agenda and in recent years his marauding troops have sown death and destruction in Sudan, DR Congo and the Central African Republic.© ANP/AFP