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LRA Abductions Surge in Central African Republic :: Uganda Radionetwork
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LRA Abductions Surge in Central African Republic

The joint LRA Crisis Tracker report released by Invisible Children and The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative, shows that the number of abductions registered in the eastern part of CAR in January and February 2016 doubles the total number of LRA civilian abductions registered in 2015. Up to 113 abductions were recorded in 2015.
The Lord's Resistance Army –LRA rebels have abducted 217 people in the Central African Republic since January 1, 2016, a new report reveals.

The joint LRA Crisis Tracker report released by Invisible Children and The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative, shows that the number of abductions registered in the eastern part of CAR in January and February 2016 doubles the total number of LRA civilian abductions registered in 2015. Up to 113 abductions were recorded in 2015.

54 of the abducted civilians are children, out of which 41 remain in captivity or are unaccounted for. In 2015, 16 children were abducted by the LRA.

‘It is too early to tell if LRA commanders will try to integrate the children abducted in recent weeks into the group as child soldiers and camp laborers or simply release them after a longer-than-usual period of transporting looted goods, Paul Ronan, the Co-founder and Project Director of The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative says.

“Recruitment drives by LRA groups in late 2014 and early 2015 suggest that the LRA will seek to train at least some of the recent abductees,” Ronan adds.

The fighting force of the Joseph Kony-led LRA outfit has dwindled over the years, with an estimated force of less than 250 fighters.

“Local variations in attack patterns reflect how the LRA's survival strategies have evolved under the direction of leader Joseph Kony and his depleted fighting force. Though LRA groups still loot food to survive, they have shifted away from killing or injuring people during most attacks. However, a surge in more aggressive attacks in eastern CAR in early 2016 disrupted this trend, once again highlighting the grave threat LRA fighters pose to civilians,” Ronan adds.

The report also highlights a drop in the rebels' attacks in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), abductions in the first weeks of 2016, compared to 2015 where over 400 civilians were in LRA captivity.

Ronan warns that the LRA will continue to exploit the gaps in absence of government and international troops including the UPDF in eastern CAR to abduct civilians, transport illicit ivory, gold, and diamonds and loot food and other necessary supplies.

However, UPDF spokesman Paddy Ankunda dismisses the report as misleading.

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