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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora