UN warns LRA to cease hostilities, disarm and demobilise

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Another call has come from the UN Security Council for the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to immediately cease all hostilities, release all abductees, disarm and demobilise.

The LRA, notorious for carrying out massacres in villages, mutilating its victims and abducting boys for use as child soldiers as well as forcing girls into sexual slavery, was formed in the 1980s in Uganda and for over 15 years its attacks were mainly directed against Ugandan civilians and security forces, which in 2002 dislodged it. It then exported its activities to Uganda’s neighbours including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.

In a presidential statement, the Security Council urged the UN Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), UN political and peacekeeping missions in the region and the world body’s other relevant presences to up support for implementation of a UN regional strategy to address the threat and impact of LRA activities. It also called on the wider international community to support the implementation of the regional strategy.

The 15-member body re-affirmed its support for the AU Regional Co-operation Initiative against the LRA, commending “significant” progress by the AU Regional Task Force. It urged all regional governments to fulfil commitments under the initiative and provide basic provisions for their security forces.

The Security Council sees the primary responsibility of countries in the LRA affected region being to protect civilians. In this context it welcomed efforts by the DRC, South Sudan, Uganda and CAR to end the LRA threat working in conjunction with the AU.