Ending the Lord's Resistance Army

 

Now is the time to bring an end to the predatory militia known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. If efforts to counter the LRA are not dramatically bolstered by sustained U.S. leadership, the group could strengthen and become an even greater threat to regional stability.

Now is the time to bring an end to the predatory militia known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. Despite years of counterinsurgency operations, numerous peace initiatives, and the passage in 2010 of historic legislation with unprecedented bipartisan support for the U.S. government to lead international action to apprehend the LRA leadership, the LRA continues to terrorize civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, while maintaining the possibility of a return to northern Uganda.

With each passing month, the situation grows direr for Central African communities in the path of LRA units. Joseph Kony, the brutal and messianic leader of the LRA, has taken advantage of the growing security vacuum in LRA-affected areas and appears to be regrouping and reorganizing the LRA, with a large number of senior commanders currently in the Central African Republic. This will likely lead to increased attacks on civilians and abductions of children to be soldiers or sex slaves. If efforts to counter the LRA are not dramatically bolstered, the group could strengthen and become an even greater threat to regional stability. Without bold and sustained U.S. leadership, this nearly 25-year crisis will likely continue for years to come.