News / Africa

South Sudan Blames LRA for Deadly Attacks

Joseph Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader, left, and his deputy Vincent Otti, sit inside a tent at Ri-Kwamba in Southern Sudan. (Nov. 2006 file photo)Joseph Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader, left, and his deputy Vincent Otti, sit inside a tent at Ri-Kwamba in Southern Sudan. (Nov. 2006 file photo)
x
Joseph Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader, left, and his deputy Vincent Otti, sit inside a tent at Ri-Kwamba in Southern Sudan. (Nov. 2006 file photo)
Joseph Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader, left, and his deputy Vincent Otti, sit inside a tent at Ri-Kwamba in Southern Sudan. (Nov. 2006 file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Lucy Poni

South Sudan has deployed hundreds of soldiers to Western Equatoria to root out Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) fighters suspected of carrying out deadly attacks in the state this week, army spokesman Philip Aguer said Thursday.

"There is no other enemy that we are suspecting in the region. It is only the LRA," Aguer told VOA News.

Some 500 South Sudanese soldiers have been deployed to the region to track down the LRA and protect locals, he said.

Officials said two people were killed in the raids in Ezzo and Tamburo counties, and an unknown number abducted. The attackers also looted property, officials and residents said.

Anglican Bishop John Nzawo of Ezzo diocese said one of the attacks happened in "the small village of Naazinga, which is one-and-a-half miles from my diocesan premises."

"One person was killed on the spot and properties have been destroyed and looted. One person was severely injured and he was taken to hospital," Nzawo said.

The attacks, which Nzawo said sent terrified locals fleeing into the bush, came hard on the heels of raids in neighboring Central African Republic (CAR), which have also been blamed on the LRA.

Western Equatoria's Minister of Information Charles Kisanga said South Sudan has been on "high alert" for an LRA attack. The notorious rebel group is reported to have taken advantage of instability in CAR after the violent coup in March that ousted president Francois Bozize, and regrouped.

"There have been reports of LRA activities around the border areas due to the fact that the new government in Central Africa is not very cooperative in dealing with these matters, and they were left to start regrouping. So that is why people have been on high alert in South Sudan," he said.

The LRA has led one of the most brutal and longest armed conflicts in Africa since it was formed in the late 1980s by Joseph Kony, a self-proclaimed prophet who still leads the group.

The LRA's stated aim is to overthrow the government of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and replace it with a regime based on the Bible's Ten Commandments.

Its brutal battle tactics, including mass murder, grisly mutilations, and its hallmark tactic of abducting children and forcing them to join the rebellion, either as soldiers or as sex slaves for LRA commanders, have caused it to lose support among local populations.

A 2006 study funded by UNICEF estimated that at least 66,000 children and youth had been abducted by the LRA since it was set up in the 1980s.

At its peak, the LRA was mainly active in northern Uganda and the border area of what was then the southern part of Sudan.

According to the U.S. State Department, Kony ordered the LRA to withdraw from Uganda in 2005 and 2006 and move into the border region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR), and what is now South Sudan.

Even though the LRA's core group of fighters is thought to have been reduced to around 200 today, the group "retains the capacity to cast a wide shadow across the region because of its brutality and the fear it arouses in local populations," the State Department says.

A report released in December last year by the United Nations blames the LRA for 278 attacks in 2011 and estimates that more than 465,000 people in CAR, the DRC and South Sudan were displaced or "living as refugees during 2011 as a result of the LRA threat."

 

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: juma from: munuki
November 12, 2013 2:05 AM
Wat is the goverment planning to do about this matter.the LRA have really disturbed all this time.so what is the goverments plan now

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid