Lord's Resistance Army: Endless Terror

Twenty-one years. For twenty-one years the people of Uganda have endured civil war, widespread murder, rape of their women, and the abduction of their children. As the perpetrators of this violence, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has proved to be nothing less than what their name claims—resistant. After more than two decades of countless international efforts for peacekeeping in Uganda, the LRA still brings fear and hostility into the region.

The LRA has been waging war in Uganda in an attempt to overthrow the current government. James Alfred Obita, Leader of the Delegation of the LRA, avows that the militant group is following God’s will to restore peace and security to Uganda as well as end the dictatorship and oppression of its people. But while the LRA claims noble objectives for their cause, their actions have been anything but peaceful.

In their quest to control the region, the LRA invokes terror and brutality. They abduct children from villages to use them as soldiers in their war. They rape and victimize women as sexual slaves. Caritas International reports that they are the perpetrators of a Christmas massacre in 2008 that left nearly 500 people gruesomely murdered. The LRA has proven ruthless in their attempts to gain power over Uganda and although efforts have been made to stop this force, the LRA’s tactics and relentless fighting have made it difficult to end the violence.

According to ENOUGH, a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity, the LRA has gone beyond terrorizing the Ugandan people. In the past, they have contributed to movements in Southern Sudan to help the Sudanese government stifle the People’s Liberation Army for nearly a decade during the 1990’s. Now, in 2010, ENOUGH reports that the LRA has once again sought refuge in Southern Sudan. The combined force of the LRA and the Sudanese government presents a terrifying collaboration of militant power.

The president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, and the LRA are both wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. The fear of their collaborative resurgence is very real and ENOUGH Executive Director, John Norris, says, “A failure to bring clear and consistent pressure on President Bashir and his allies for this latest outrage will only encourage the Sudanese government to commit further abuses, with a terrible cost for civilians on the ground.”

The fear for civilians is vast. The LRA’s terror reaches not only Sudan and Uganda, but also the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Now that the LRA has taken refuge in Southern Sudan, all neighboring regions feel the threat of violence. Communities and villages are attempting to defend themselves, but their resources are extremely limited. International efforts are still being strategized and planned, but for now, the future is largely unknown.

 

Updates:

The LRA causes more devastation in the Congo

 

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