This report is based on an eight-day Human Rights Watch field research mission to Haut Uele district in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo from February 18-25, 2010, as well as additional research in Kinshasa and Goma in Congo, and Kampala in Uganda. Three Human Rights Watch researchers participated in the research, altogether conducting 128 interviews.
In Haut Uele, researchers visited the towns and villages of Niangara, Tapili, Bangadi, Dungu, and Faradje, where they interviewed dozens of victims, family members, and eyewitnesses to the Makombo massacre and other attacks on civilians. Among these were individuals who helped bury the dead, children and adults who had been abducted by the LRA and later escaped, local authorities, religious leaders, civil society representatives, Congolese army (FARDC) commanders, Ugandan army (UPDF) commanders, MONUC officials, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations and UN agencies. In Tapili, one of the towns in the Makombo area that the LRA attacked during the massacre, researchers interviewed survivors and saw the houses the LRA used to imprison adults and children.
In Goma, researchers interviewed two former Ugandan LRA combatants who surrendered to the Congolese army near Doruma in late December 2009, as well as MONUC officials, diplomats, and representatives of UN agencies. In Kinshasa, researchers interviewed diplomats, MONUC officials, Congolese government officials, and representatives of UN agencies. Human Rights Watch also interviewed Ugandan military intelligence and army officials in Kampala, and received an official communication responding to many of our questions. Human Rights Watch researchers were also in communication with officials from the United States African Command (AFRICOM) and the US State Department.
This report also benefited greatly from information collected by civil society organizations, local authorities, and Congolese army officials, as well as UN, US and other official documentation.
Statistics on the numbers killed during the Makombo massacre and in other attacks are based on interviews with those who buried the dead. Those left unburied have not been included in our calculations. Statistics on the number of people abducted by the LRA during the Makombo massacre are based on interviews with witnesses and children and adults who were captured by the LRA during the attack and later managed to escape.