Rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA are still active and carrying out atrocities in Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Reports by local Non Governmental Organizations indicate that the rebels have abducted ninety people and killed three others in Central African Republic-CAR in the last five months. Fr. Martin Mundue, the Obbo Parish priest in Central African Republic says the latest attacks carried out by about thirty rebels took place between 21st and 25th June. He says the rebels also looted food and farm implements like hoes and pangas.
Mundue explains that 33 abductees have so far been rescued. He says residents are concerned that the withdrawal of the American Special Forces from Njemena and Obbo may lead to increased LRA activities in the area. The American Special Forces, who are part of the regional armies that are hunting for the Lord’s Resistance Army fighters, were withdrawn following the suspension of the operations against the rebels. The suspension follows a military takeover of power in Central African Republic by the seleka militias.
In Neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo the locals and NGO’s there say the rebels are very active in the area and the last attack took place on 17th of this month. Ernest Sugule, the Coordinator Solidarité et Assistance Intégrale aux Personnes Démunies-SAIPD, a local NGO says the rebels who were about 20 in number looted household property.
Sugule says residents are also worried that the rebels who are actively engaged in poaching may acquire new weapons using proceeds from sale of elephant tusks, which will prolong the conflict. Sugule says LRA activities in the areas of Dungu have affected education and so far 1, 076 children have dropped out of school.
The Ugandan army however says it can’t do much to save the population in the affected areas because of the suspension of operations against LRA. Major Patrick Ndiwa the Intelligence Officer of the Gulu based 4th division of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces says that lack of corporation from the Seleka militias who took over power in CAR has forced the regional armies to suspend the operation against the LRA rebels.
Local leaders from the areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency are currently meeting in Gulu to seek peaceful solutions to the problem. They are discussing ways of encouraging massive desertions among the LRA rebel rebels.