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LRA abducts 121 in DRC, CAR

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LRA boss, Joseph Kony.
LRA boss, Joseph Kony.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has continued to pose a threat to vulnerable populations in the Central Africa Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and in South Sudan.

According to an August 3 release by the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the rag tag LRA carried out 66 attacks in which three deaths and 121 abductions were reported between April and June this year. UNOCHA also reported that an estimated 199,898 people remain displaced in LRA-affected areas of South Sudan, CAR and DRC.

Further, UNOCHA reported that the trend in attacks and deaths has remained constant since 2012, but that the abductions have increased steadily. In 2006 the LRA led by Joseph Kony fled Ugandan after hot pursuit by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF). Since then most of the LRA senior commanders have either been captured or killed and these include Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Raska Lukwiya, Ceasar Acellam and Dominic Ongwen who surrendered and is now facing war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. In 2011 the US government sent 100 Special Forces to help the UPDF pursue and arrest Kony but he fled to the CAR and has since remained elusive.

Central African Republic Twenty-two LRA attacks and 36 abductions were reported in CAR in Quarter 2 of 2015. No deaths were reported in Quarter 2 of 2015. This is an increase 9 per cent in the number of abductions over Quarter 1 of 2015. The number of attacks decreased by 4 per cent. 46 per cent, 36 per cent and 18 per cent of the attacks occurred in Haute-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou and Mbomou Prefectures respectively.

The number of displaced people in LRA-affected areas remains at 18,200. Democratic Republic of Congo Forty-four LRA attacks, 3 deaths and 85 abductions were reported in Quarter 2 of 2015. This is a decrease of 67 per cent and 42 per cent in the number of deaths and abductions respectively over Quarter 1 of 2015. The number of attacks increased by 10 per cent. Over 162,000 people remain displaced in Bas-Uélé and Haut-Uélé Districts of Province Orientale – many of them long term but with approximately 49,000 newly displaced since 2014 – due to LRA activity. An estimated 9,243 CAR refugees remain hosted in the area.

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