Uganda’s army has accused the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels of hacking to death 45 civilians in a Catholic church in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Capt Chris Magezi said it happened the day after Christmas near Doruma, close to the border with South Sudan.

lraHe said the scene at the church was “horrendous… dead bodies of mostly women and children cut in pieces”. A rebel spokesman has denied responsibility for the killings, which follow a collapse in the peace process. Other reports say more than 100 people were killed.

The UN’s humanitarian agency, Ocha, says 189 people were killed in the region at the end of last week, reports the Reuters news agency. The armies of Uganda, South Sudan and DR Congo carried out a joint offensive against the rebels in mid-December after LRA leader Joseph Kony again refused to sign a peace deal.

The LRA leader, who has lived in a jungle hideout in north-eastern DR Congo for the last few years, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Uganda’s government had been involved in lengthy peace negotiations with the LRA, hosted by the South Sudanese government.

But Mr Kony has demanded that arrest warrants for him and his associates be dropped before any agreement can be struck.



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