For more than two years, the Lord’s Resistance Army has been waging a ruthless campaign of terror – largely ignored by the outside world – against civilians in the Central African Republic, or CAR. In a new report, “On the Heels of Kony: The Untold Tragedy Unfolding in the Central African Republic,” Enough Project Field Researcher Ledio Cakaj describes the LRA’s deadly but under-reported track record in a largely forgotten corner of Africa.
Based upon extensive interviews with eyewitnesses, the Enough Project report details 57 LRA attacks that resulted in hundreds of killings and abductions since February 2008. Enough has documented 134 deaths caused by the LRA and over 500 abductions in CAR. Of those abducted, 273 people, many of whom are under 18 years old, remain with the LRA.
LRA violence is creating a growing humanitarian crisis. Nearly 15,000 people have been internally displaced and more than 5,000 Congolese live in refugee camps in CAR. The lack of humanitarian aid and inability to cultivate crops due to fear of LRA attacks have caused drastic food shortages.
“The LRA continues to brutalize and kidnap defenseless civilians across the Central African Republic,” states Cakaj. “There is a distinct risk that this widely dispersed rebel organization will regroup. The regional security threat posed by the LRA remains acute due to the lack of international attention to the ongoing violence in CAR.”
The report also reveals how LRA leader Joseph Kony, an internationally wanted war criminal, nearly fell into the grasp of the Ugandan army during the past year.
“The fact that the Ugandan army almost apprehended Kony by stumbling upon him demonstrates that the apprehension of the LRA’s leadership is an achievable task,” states Enough Project Executive Director John Norris. “However, the operations of the Ugandan army – the only military force pursuing the LRA in CAR – risk morphing into a war of attrition that will further endanger civilians.
So it is incumbent upon the United States to lead a renewed international effort to protect civilians and apprehend the LRA’s leaders. Absent a new level of effort, the international community continues to do too little, too late to end the scourge of the LRA.”
I am yet to read the entire report to get to understand what they mean by new level of international support. Kony has escaped from all past attempts to capture him and so stating the last year’s attempt shows that his capture is achievable is not the best reason the project can give us.
I don’t know if this comes from the fact the project is American but in their last reports they seemed to overemphasise the importance of US intervention and i don’t know what they suggest should be done if the US said it’s hands were full.
Otherwise the project has so far managed to keep track of LRA activities in the region and has become the major source of statistics about LRA brutality in last year.
More of this report can be found at Enough Project