The Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is providing relief to more than 1,000 people, some of whom are former child soldiers who fled a Ugandan rebel group inflicting raids on villages in the Congo.
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group, has raided villages over last two years in the northeast region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Killing people indiscriminately and stealing food, the group often abducts children for their own usage.
Bishop Julien Andavo Mbia of Isiro-Niangara, who is overseeing aid for the refugees, described a typical raid, saying that “Within 20 minutes they can search through everything – looting foodstuffs and seizing the young people.”
The bishop added that abducted children are especially at risk.“The boys are trained to fight, while the girls are forced to become sex slaves,” he told ACN.
The Catholic aid group is pledging $6,200 in aid for the victims of the LRA as part of its ongoing support for Church-run projects in the country.
This grant will allow Bishop Mbia to provide food for survivors and give basic shelter and blankets to those who were forced to flee when their huts were burnt down. The money will also supply clothing, since many displaced families had no time to gather possessions when the LRA attacked.
Bishop Mbia’s program will also provide medicine to those who had lips and ears cut off during the raids.