Fugitive members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) are taking advantage of the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR), a new report says.
On Tuesday, the Invisible Children and The Resolve, developers of the LRA Crisis Tracker project, released the 2013 LRA crisis tracker security brief at a press conference in the Ugandan capital Kampala.
According to the report, chaos in the CAR has “allowed the LRA to operate with little resistance” in some parts of the country, which could be a “lifeline” for LRA fugitive leader Joseph Kony.
“In 2013, LRA violence in the CAR increased to its highest point since 2010,” the report said
It added that the number of attacks and abductions by the LRA decreased in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the group also lost many of its captives in 2013.
“Sixty-two women and children, who had spent at least six months in LRA captivity, returned home in 2013 making it increasingly more difficult to sustain a large fighting force in the bush.”
The LRA is said to have split up into small groups and Kony is thought to be hiding in a place where the borders of the CAR, South Sudan, and Sudan meet.
Kony, who has been fighting the Ugandan government for over 20 years, was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in 2005 but has evaded capture.
In its long and bloody history, the LRA has mutilated civilians and abducted children to use as sex slaves, soldiers, and porters.