Adhel* lost her husband and one of her children earlier this year when the Sudanese Armed Forces, or SAF, bombed her town in South Kordofan. “It’s a mess, many people were captured, others scattered, others came here, and others killed.” Since fighting between the SAF and the SPLM-N started in South Kordofan almost a year and a half ago, the stories of displacement by aerial bombardment, food shortages, and militia attacks that refugees tell remain the same. Read More »
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, recently released their third quarter report on LRA activity in central Africa. These updated stats serve to illustrate the ongoing grave impact of the LRA in central Africa, in spite of their relatively small numbers and the fact that soldiers from several countries—including American military advisors—are pursuing them. Read More »
The U.S. Treasury Department announced its move to add top M23 commander Sultani Makenga to its list of Congolese warlords under sanctions for their role in stoking violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Read More »
As I begin my journey to visit the schools in the Darfuri refugee camps Djabal and Goz Amer, what I am looking forward to most is reconnecting with old friends, making news ones, playing games with the school children, and sharing in their infectious laughter. During the trip I will be documenting the impact of the Darfur Dream Team’s support for education in the refugee camps in eastern Chad. Read More »
Barack Obama's victory over Mitt Romney could have significant implications for America's approach to countries ranging from China to Russia. But U.S. policy toward Africa was unlikely to shift dramatically no matter who was elected president this week -- a remarkable fact considering that nearly every foreign policy issue is cannon fodder for partisan battles these days. Read More »
SOUTH SUDAN and CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – Current military operations tasked with hunting down the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, in the vast jungles of Central Africa face a logistical nightmare and intelligence challenges that inhibit their ability to find the senior leaders and end the LRA, according to a new Enough Project field report and accompanying video.
In August 2012, Enough Project LRA Field Researcher Kasper Agger embedded with the Ugandan military, or UPDF—the main force pursuing the LRA with approximately 1,500 soldiers—traveling from South Sudan to Central African Republic, or CAR. Enough’s new field report and video are based on information gathered during his embedding, as well as from interviews he conducted with commanders, soldiers and military and civilian partners in both countries.
Agger, author of the report, said:
"The Ugandan army in Central Africa continues to face multiple logistical and intelligence challenges that handicap its ability to locate and fight the LRA successfully. Their offensive trekking teams can roam around the jungle for several weeks without any certain trace of the rebels. The fact remains that improved infrastructure and additional soldiers are much needed to cover the vast and remote areas where the LRA continues to operate and prey on civilians."
The deployment of 100 U.S. military advisors has helped address some of the Ugandan troops’ issues, but the report describes continuing needs for better access to LRA-affected areas, enhanced human and aerial intelligence, increased air support, and improved road infrastructure. The report argues that U.S. advisors should play a more operational role alongside regional forces in the field, in an effort to speed up the mission to capture Joseph Kony and top LRA commanders.
The report recognizes that neither the Ugandan troops nor U.S. advisors will be deployed indefinitely, so a new approach to the hunt for the LRA’s senior commanders is needed that would ensure adequately trained and equipped troops can be deployed rapidly, with the appropriate intelligence and logistical capabilities possible.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.
Following the resolution of negotiations in Addis Ababa this September, the international community watches on as the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan continue to grapple with critical outstanding issues. In the coming days, the U.N. Security Council will have the opportunity to vote on a set of recommendations from the African Union Peace and Security Council, or A.U. PSC, on a way forward, so the Enough Project makes some recommendations for the Security Council’s engagement in a new policy brief released today. Read More »