News / Africa

LRA Has Safe Havens in Sudan, Rights Group Says

Human Rights Groups: LRA Safe Havens Are in Sudani
X
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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs