News / Africa

    LRA Has Safe Havens in Sudan, Rights Group Says

    Human Rights Groups: LRA Safe Havens Are in Sudani
    May 07, 2013 1:19 PM
    Human rights groups say the outlawed Lord's Resistance Army has found safe-haven along the still-contentious border between Sudan and South Sudan. As VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Chinese influence may help convince the government in Khartoum to get tough with the LRA.
    Human rights groups say the outlawed Lord's Resistance Army has found safe-haven along the still-contentious border between Sudan and South Sudan. Chinese influence may help convince the government in Khartoum to get tough with the LRA.

    Facing an international arrest warrant for war crimes in East Africa, Lord's Resistance Army commander Joseph Kony is on the run. Human rights groups believe he has found refuge in Sudan.

    "We have uncovered that the LRA has been setting up bases, or had set up bases, in an area that was defacto controlled by Sudan over the last couple of years," said Sasha Lezhnev, who is an analyst with the Enough Project.  

    Satellite images

    Commercial satellite images released by the Enough Project show what the group says is a camp used by the LRA as recently as February.

    "The United States is aware and continues to evaluate reports that the LRA has operated in the disputed Kafia Kingi area claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan. The U.S. and the international community as a whole would take very seriously any credible evidence of support or safe haven being provided to the LRA," said Patrick Ventrell, a State Department spokesman.

    Off-camera, U.S. officials say they do not have sufficient evidence that Sudan has resumed significant support for the LRA. Lezhnev said Sudan is giving the LRA time and space to regroup.

    "Providing a safe harbor is significant and it's worrying in so far that the LRA has new safe-haven areas," said Lezhnev.

    Especially for such a mobile force, said Jennifer Cooke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    "The LRA has been very nimble in moving across borders to escape scrutiny. And with everything that is going on between the north and south within Sudan, what's happening in the southern part of Sudan itself, I think there is not a whole lot of attention focused on tracking down the LRA in Sudan," said Cooke.

    Seeking help

    Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said he is not backing the LRA. At a time when he is looking to improve Sudan's standing, giving up the LRA could make sense.

    "It would be a sign of good faith. And it is not clear what interest Sudan right now would have in harboring the LRA. They've got bigger issues," said Cooke.

    Such as fully restoring oil exports, in which China played a leading roll. Lezhnev said Beijing could help with the LRA as well.

    "Some creative pressure, including pressure from the United States, has helped achieve some results with Sudan. Having China weigh in to a stronger degree than they had before has also helped," said Lezhnev.

    But Sarah Margon at Human Rights Watch says China has no direct interest in the LRA.

    "In the case of the LRA and in the case of Joseph Kony, this is really a civilian-protection mission for the US. There's frankly not a lot else in it for the United States right now. So getting China to engage on and support American interests in the counter-LRA mission is a tough one," said Margon.

    Lezhnev said LRA's safe-haven in Sudan will continue to be a "concrete danger" until there is a change in Khartoum.

    You May Like

    US, Allies Discuss Next Steps in Islamic State Fight

    Meeting comes a day after US Navy SEAL was killed while fighting Islamic State forces in northern Iraq

    In China, Traditional Banks Fight Challenge From Internet Firms

    Internet companies lent more than $150 billion to customers in 2015, which is an extremely small amount compared to the much larger lending by commercial banks last year

    Trump Faces Tough Presidential Odds Against Clinton

    Numerous national election surveys show former secretary of state defeating presumptive Republican nominee with tough talk to halt illegal immigration and temporarily block Muslims from entering country

    This forum has been closed.
    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora