The Lord’s Resistance Army and the Threat Against Civilians in Southern Sudan

 

The cross-border nature of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA—currently active in northeastern Congo, the Central African Republic, and southern Sudan—is a clear threat to international peace and security.

Enough experts expose the ongoing violence and turmoil caused by the Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa.

Arrow Boys are local militia that have organized to defend communities against the LRA.

The cross-border nature of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA—currently active in northeastern Congo, the Central African Republic, and southern Sudan—is a clear threat to international peace and security, but the United Nations Security Council has yet to take seriously its responsibility to protect civilians from the LRA and marshal the will and the resources to put in place an effective counterinsurgency strategy.
 
In Western Equatoria State in Southern Sudan, where LRA attacks in recent months have killed at least 135 people and driven 67,000 from their homes, the Government of Southern Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, or SPLA, have been unable and in some cases unwilling to protect southern Sudanese civilians. Unfortunately, U.N. peacekeepers deployed to support implementation of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement have not risen to the direct challenge to peace posed by the LRA. The Government of Southern Sudan and the United Nations must do better, but improved civilian protection is only one element of a comprehensive strategy to address the LRA threat. Civilians in the affected region will not be safe so long as the LRA continues to operate as a transnational terrorist group.
 
The U.N. Security Council must authorize and member states must resource a comprehensive strategy to protect civilians in LRA-affected areas, identify and sever external lines of support, increase opportunities for rank-and-file fighters to defect, and end the insurgency once and for all through more effective military pressure on LRA leader Joseph Kony and his high command.
 
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John Prendergast speaks to activists about the LRA at the How It Ends lobby days event, organized by the Enough Project, Invisible Children, and Resolve Uganda.