News / Africa

CAR Instability Helps Lord's Resistance Army Regroup

CAR Instability Helps Lord's Resistance Army Regroupi
X
May 14, 2013 10:56 AM
The rebel takeover in the Central African Republic has stalled international efforts to track down the outlaw Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on how the LRA is taking advantage of regional instability.
Joseph Kony
The rebel takeover in the Central African Republic has stalled international efforts to track down the outlaw Lord's Resistance Army (LAR) and its leader Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court. 

Rebels who seized power in the Central African Republic (CAR) this year effectively halted efforts to find the LRA there.  Ugandan troops and their U.S. advisers suspended the hunt amid uncertainty over how the rebel coalition, known as Seleka, might pursue the group and its leader Joseph Kony.

"With the collapse in CAR, I think the effort, the real sense of urgency and focus on getting Joseph Kony, has collapsed somewhat," said Jennifer Cooke, director of Center for Strategic and International Studies Africa.

US Army special forces Master Sergeant speaks with troops from the Central African Republic and Uganda, in Obo where US special forces have paired up with local troops and Ugandan soldiers to seek out Joseph Kony's LRA, (File photo).US Army special forces Master Sergeant speaks with troops from the Central African Republic and Uganda, in Obo where US special forces have paired up with local troops and Ugandan soldiers to seek out Joseph Kony's LRA, (File photo).
x
US Army special forces Master Sergeant speaks with troops from the Central African Republic and Uganda, in Obo where US special forces have paired up with local troops and Ugandan soldiers to seek out Joseph Kony's LRA, (File photo).
US Army special forces Master Sergeant speaks with troops from the Central African Republic and Uganda, in Obo where US special forces have paired up with local troops and Ugandan soldiers to seek out Joseph Kony's LRA, (File photo).
Kony is accused of being responsible for murder, kidnapping, and sexual slavery across four African countries.  His ability to now move more freely and capitalize on instability worries Human Rights Watch official Sarah Margon.

"Certainly chaos in Eastern Congo and in CAR could give the LRA the time to regroup.  And if nobody is particularly focused on the LRA as part of the larger regional issues, that is also another way in which they can regroup," said Sarah Margon, Human Rights Watch. "They sort of become invisible."

Rebel rule in Bangui creates new opportunities for the LRA, said Sasha Lezhnev of the human rights group, The Enough Project.

"Everyday that this situation continues, that the Ugandans and the U.S. advisers are just sitting in their seats watching the game unfold, is creating danger for the LRA to set up new abductions, to set up new safe havens, as they have done many, many times," she stated.

In Central Africa, it is easy for such a mobile force to hide.

"The terrain with the forest canopy makes it very difficult to track them, even with infrared technology.  They move in groups of three to five.  They're now down to just a few hundred fighters," Lezhev said. "But Kony and his top commanders, but particularly Kony, has always been very, very resilient."

Seleka rebels controlling the Central African Republic have not made chasing the Lord's Resistance Army a priority, said Cooke.

"The Seleka coalition is very fractured.  It's a lot of very ambitious individuals and groups that have very different agendas.  Governance and security broadly is probably not one of them," added Cooke.

Cooke also questions the commitment of the previous government in Bangui, which left Seleka even less to live up to.

"What commitment there was has now pretty much collapsed.  It's just going to be pretty hard to do that when Ugandan troops can not collaborate with troops in Eastern Congo, when Central Africa is in such disrepair," she said.

While regional governments have recognized rebel rule in Bangui, an African Union task force against the LRA is awaiting fresh rules of engagement in their pursuit of Joseph Kony.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs