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UN, AU Cannot Protect Surrendering LRA Rebels - Researcher :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UN, AU Cannot Protect Surrendering LRA Rebels - Researcher

Professor Tim Allen told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the UN and AU cannot guarantee the safety of rebels who try to flee but face hostility from the local population and other security agencies in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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The United Nations and the African Union (AU) cannot guarantee the safety of members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a researcher from the London School of Economics has said.

 

Professor Tim Allen told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the UN and AU cannot guarantee the safety of rebels who try to flee but face hostility from the local population and other security agencies in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He says many abductees don’t know the language in the areas and this would make them very vulnerable.

The comments by Professor Allen, Allen who has written a book on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and LRA, come days after the AU and UN reassured LRA fighters of safety in case they surrender.

 

He says the call for safety may only work for the commanders who do not have warrants from ICC and other rebels who were abducted. He said the UN and AU do not have the Capacity to withdraw international criminal court warrants.

 

//Cue in:  “There has been…

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Allen says safety for the rebels would also be possible if a negotiation is conducted politically and Uganda can decide to keep the rebels and not hand them over, while the UN’s Security Council can only delay the execution of the warrant on an annual basis but not to make the warrant go away since it is a permanent one.

 

Allen says the LRA will defend themselves in case they surrender as they will get a chance to explain the reason for their actions.

 

//Cue in:  “In the early…

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Kristof Titeca, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Development Policy and Management, who has been researching on the LRA, says the call by the UN and AU will not motivate the LRA to surrender since many of them have not even used the current amnesty that provides for a pardon for those who surrender.

 

Titeca says it is not established whether the LRA is only lying low or truthfully getting weak, adding that the silence could be a strategy. He says though activists are now using better means to make LRA leader Joseph Kony lose grip, it is still difficult to even defect from the LRA as the abducted persons fear for a bad reception from armed actors since they do not know the language yet they are also very unpopular.

 

Titeca says that the location of the LRA in CAR in a very immense bush makes it completely difficult for the abductees who seek to flee to make it out stating that it is only helicopters that can manage to cross the area. He says there are currently 250 fighters making up the LRA rebels while about 250 are people not actively involved in armed conflicts.

 

In their statement, the UN and AU appealed to the LRA not to be afraid of abandoning rebellion since they will be welcomed, their security will be guaranteed and discussions will be initiated to organize their social reintegration or resettlement.

 

Francisco Madeira, the AU Special Envoy for the LRA noted that mechanisms have been put in place for the purpose of the safety, including the process of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR).

 

Top LRA rebel commanders Thomas Kwoyelo and Caeser Acellam are still in detention as their lawyers seek justice for them.

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