The Lord’s Resistance Army has depopulated a remote corner of northeastern Congo, killing and abducting hundreds of civilians, and forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. In a new report, “‘This is our land now:’ Lord’s Resistance Army attacks in Bas Uele, northeastern Congo,” Enough Project Field Researcher Ledio Cakaj documents 51 attacks by the LRA in Bas Uele, Congo, resulting in at least 105 deaths and 570 abductions during the last 15 months.
“The LRA rampage in Bas Uele territory is brutal but strategic,” notes Cakaj, “LRA fighters have used this region as a base and transit point to the Central African Republic and beyond. The threat to civilians is increasing, since there is no meaningful military force to challenge the LRA in this area. The Congolese army remains a threat to its own population, and the United Nations is drawing down its peacekeepers in this region.”
After signing into U.S. law the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act on May 24, 2010, the Obama administration is developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with the LRA. The report argues that any viable strategy needs to take into account the importance of Bas Uele to the LRA, in order to better protect civilians and finally to end the LRA’s escalating threat across a vast region of central Africa.