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South Sudan, CAR Instability Undermining Fight against LRA- UN Report :: Uganda Radionetwork
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South Sudan, CAR Instability Undermining Fight against LRA- UN Report

In the report, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon states that the lack of national security forces including intelligence-sharing capacity in CAR as well as growing inter-communal conflict and in some cases hostility to foreign Regional Task Force – (RTF) troops, presents challenges to counter-LRA operations.

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Instability in the Central African Republic and South Sudan is undermining progress achieved against the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, a report by the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa suggests.

In the report, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon states that the lack of national security forces including intelligence-sharing capacity in CAR as well as growing inter-communal conflict and in some cases hostility to foreign Regional Task Force – (RTF) troops, presents challenges to counter-LRA operations.

This is despite cooperation among the countries that participate in the African Union Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA and military support from the US which has allowed the RTF to expand its operations.

Presenting the report, Abou Moussa the outgoing head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa-(UNOCA), stated that theredeployment of the UPDF and South Sudanese Regional Taskforce contingents away from LRA operations has created potential security vulnerabilities in Western Equatoria State.

The report adds that armed Janjaweed militias and pastoralists, who move throughout southern Darfur to the Central African Republic, are an additional source of insecurity as these groups occasionally clash with the Regional Task Force. They are also suspected of providing information to the LRA regarding RTF troop movement.

However, the Government of the Sudan indicates that there are no Lord’s Resistance Army elements in the disputed Kafia Kingi enclave, on the border between the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Sudan.

But according to Moussa, credible sources suggest that LRA leader Joseph Kony and senior LRA commanders have recently returned to seek safe haven in Sudanese-controlled areas of the enclave.

The report also notes that the humanitarian situation in many LRA-affected countries remains precarious. Non-governmental organizations are present only in some LRA-affected areas of the Central African Republic, given the limited access, while they continue to phase out from non-emergency areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo despite outstanding humanitarian needs.

Notwithstanding collective efforts by counter-LRA regional military forces, United States military advisers, non-governmental organizations and local partners continue to encourage defections.

It is reported that 37 members of the Lord’s Resistance Army who had been with the group for six months or longer have defected since December 2013, including 11 Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army combatants.

These figures include 19 Lord’s Resistance Army combatants who defected in Zemio, Central African Republic in December 2013 —the largest single Lord’s Resistance Army defection since 2008.