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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More