Rebels make Christmas Day threat

By December 22, 2009

Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) — Ugandan rebel solders of the Lord's
Resistance Army are threatening a repeat of 
last year's Christmas Day massacres in northeast Congo.

Sam Vinton with Grace Ministries Internationa says although
they're not in the heart of the danger zone, they're taking the risk seriously. "The threats always concern any of us
who are working in Congo because of how it spreads." 

Caritas, the world's largest alliance of aid and development
agencies, says a year after the massacres, the Christian community is still vulnerable. While Caritas has responded to meet emergency
needs, many lack protection, food and basic healthcare.

The Security Council discusses a
peacekeeping mandate renewal this month, and Caritas is calling for security reform.

Vinton says they're watching the tinderbox situation, which is even more a concern now that rebel soldiers
recently attacked a village near a GMI outpost. "I just got word that some
of them attacked a village not very far from our main center south of Bukavu.
That is causing insecurity; it has meant that the teams that are out doing
evangelism and going to our schools have all shut down, and everyone is
returning back home to find out what has happened."  

The violence is blamed on stragglers from the Hutu militia
who fled Rwanda after the genocide in that country. They've been been in hiding in the forest in
Congo.

Troops have been sent in to control the problem, and that's
a whole other problem. Pray for the GMI
team.  The region is their largest and
oldest ministry region.  

Vinton adds, "We need to pray for people who are
rulers and kings, whoever they are, so that we might live in peace. We enjoy it
and forget that there are so many Christians who don't have that this
Christmas."  

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