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The LRA and the most popular Africa legislation in recent US history

US Congress passed legislation in 2010 aimed at bringing an end to the Lord's Resistance Army. What is the status of that effort? 

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Key Numbers about the LRA:

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  • During its 24-year existence, the LRA has abducted approximately 70,000 civilians, killed tens of thousands, and displaced more than 2.2 million.
  • Since 2008, the LRA has killed over 2,400 civilians, abducted 3,400 others, many of whom are children, and displaced over 400,000 people from their homes.
  • Based on Enough interviews conducted in 2010 with former LRA fighters, there are about 400 LRA fighters operating in three countries. This number does not include women, men, and children, who are used solely to carry food and other looted materials or serve as sex slaves or “wives.”
  • As of November 2010, close to 250 fighters are Ugandans, the other 150 being from Sudan, Congo, and CAR.

Where are they now?

Joseph Kony and many of his top commanders have relocated to the Central African Republic.

According to a 2011 Small Arms Survey publication:

  • By September 2011, Kony and his top deputies were believed to have moved from Congo into the Central African Republic, or CAR, possibly to the Zemongo forest near the border with South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal state. At least one LRA group of about 50 fighters stayed in Congo, based in the Garamba National Park, a former LRA base.
  • A small LRA group led by Dominic Ongwen, appears to have moved into Western Bahr el-Ghazal or possibly CAR. The move might be an attempt to join forces with Kony’s troops, who cross frequently into Western Bahr el Ghazal from CAR.
  • On 31 September, Government of South Sudan interior minister Alison Magaya said that the Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, are training LRA fighters in a camp between
    Western Bahr el Ghazal and South Darfur. This statement has been impossible to confirm. Government of Sudan officials have repeatedly denied supporting the LRA.

How to end the LRA:

See our latest paper about the U.S. military advisors and how the nearly 25 year-old LRA crisis can be finally ended. In it, we explain that what is needed for the effort to succeed: capable and committed special forces from Uganda or another African country, greater intelligence support from the U.S., and logistical assistance from European and other countries.

– Mollie Zapata blogs for the Enough Project at Enough Said.

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