News / Africa

Anti-LRA Campaign Lacks Resources

Ugandan soldiers, who are tracking down Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) fugitive leaders, load supplies from a military helicopter in a forest bordering Central African Republic, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, near river Chinko, April 18, 2012.
Ugandan soldiers, who are tracking down Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) fugitive leaders, load supplies from a military helicopter in a forest bordering Central African Republic, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, near river Chinko, April 18, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Joe DeCapua
A six-month effort to eliminate LRA rebels in Central Africa is being criticized for failing to make meaningful progress. A coalition of humanitarian and rights groups says the joint United Nations / African Union effort lacks urgency and resources.


The NGOs have released a new report prior to a December 18th U.N. Security Council meeting on the Lord’s Resistance Army.

The LRA has its roots in Uganda, where it took up arms against the government 26 years ago. It’s now believed to be made up of a dozen or so smaller groups operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring countries. Some reports have said leader Joseph Kony is now based in Darfur and may have the support of the Sudanese military. He and others are wanted by the International Criminal Court.

While M23 rebels have received much attention for their recent offensive in the eastern DRC, LRA rebels have long been blamed for killings, child abductions, rapes and looting of villages.

“On the whole efforts to hunt down the LRA continue to make some progress, but we’ve been quite disappointed in the lack of leadership shown by the United Nations. They put out a strategy six months ago that details a very comprehensive response to the situation that’s exactly what’s needed. And yet almost none of that strategy has actually been implemented in that time,” said Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director of the NGO Resolve.

The strategy includes many components.

“Including a military component that works with the African Union to coordinate regional military efforts; a humanitarian and peace building component that helps develop infrastructure and deliver basic necessities for the communities that the most affected. It includes a component that tries to get LRA members to defect using radio broadcasts and flyers. It includes a component to try and improve protection of civilians in the regions,” he said.

Poffenberger said the strategy has faced a number of impediments.

“I would say the biggest has been the lack of cooperation from the government of Congo and the government of Sudan, in particular, who really have just refused to acknowledge the nature of the LRA issue within their countries. With Sudan itself, reports indicating that they may actually be sheltering some LRA fighters within their territory,” he said.

Another impediment, he said, is a lack of resources.

“One of the big points of the strategy was to show donors where they can be investing to help communities that are being affected by the LRA. And that hasn’t happened yet. The U.N. hasn’t come up with the list of projects that need to be funded. And as a result the donors have not put any new resources into the region,” he said.

The Resolve executive director said the recent offensive by M23 in eastern DRC has drawn attention and resources from the campaign against the LRA.

The NGOs’ report does have some bright spots. It praised U.S. military advisers in the region that are aiding Ugandan troops. It also said there have been a number of high-level LRA defections in recent months.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid