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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few 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.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs