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AU, UN ask LRA fighters to abandon rebellion

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October 06, 2013 (KAMPALA) - The African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) have asked fighters of the rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA) to abandon rebellion for peace and stability in Central African Republic(CAR).

The AU Special Envoy for the LRA, Francisco Madeira and Abou Moussa, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Office in CAR , made the call in a joint statement issued at the end of a recent mission to Bangui, Central Africa and Juba, South Sudan.

‘‘We ask them to be receptive to the messages they receive through various channels on the need to contribute to the creation of favourable conditions for a return to peace and security in the CAR,’’ said Abou Moussa, according to a statement from the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).

The American advocacy group, Invisible Children, has been at the forefront of disseminating ‘‘Come Home’’ messages targeting LRA fighters in CAR using local radios and leaflets dropped by air.

Moussa also urged LRA fighters to abandon their leader, Joseph Kony, who for decades has been at the helm of the rebel outfit.

‘‘For this, they should just abandon Joseph Kony, the LRA leader, who we invite also, once again, to lay down his arms,” said the AU Envoy for the LRA.

The LRA is originally a Ugandan rebel group. For two decades the rebels were involved in a vicious fight with the Ugandan government. Most of the fighting was in northern Uganda.

At the peak of the conflict nearly two million people in the region, Joseph Kony’s home area, and where most of his fighters also come from, were forced from their homes and villages into internally displaced persons camp.

The rebel group has been accused of mass murder and forceful abduction of civilian population to swell their ranks.

Francisco Madeira, the UN Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa said they are aware that most of the LRA fighters were abducted but he asked them not to fear abandoning rebellion.

“We know that women and children were forcibly recruited by the LRA commanders. We tell them not to be afraid of anything either. In case of withdrawal from the LRA, they will be welcomed, their security will be guaranteed and discussions will be initiated to organize their social reintegration or their resettlement,’’ said the UN Special Envoy.

In 2005, the International Criminal Court indicted the top LRA leaders including its leader Joseph Kony for crimes against humanity.

None of the rebel leaders’ has been apprehended and taken to the ICC so far.

The LRA was flushed out of Uganda in 2006 into South Sudan then Democratic Republic of Congo, and finally CAR where it continues to be active.

The rebel group is designated as a terrorist organisation by the US state department and is considered a security threat to the stability of the Great Lakes region.

In 2011, US President Barrack Obama sent to the Great Lakes region 100 military advisers to help the armies of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central Africa Republic to fight the rebels.

The regional effort against the LRA was disrupted in March this year when rebel forces took over power from President Francois Bozize Bozize. The rebels then ordered Ugandan troops and other foreign armies hunting for Kony to get out of CAR.

Consequently the Ugandan army suspended the fight against the rebels raising concern it would provide the brutal rebel group with a vital opportunity to re-group, abduct civilians, swell their ranks and cause more mayhem.

(ST)

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  • 7 November 2013 07:32, by Kurnyel

    No that will not happen atless Uganda drop supports Southerners.

    repondre message

  • 7 November 2013 19:35, by Gat-khir

    LRA is regrouping itself again in south sudan. It has killed and abducted people in the last two days in Tambura and Ezo counties. Central African Republic must be held accountable for this. I have send my commando boys to the area and they are chasing and crushing these cannibals inside CAR. Good news will follow soon.

    repondre message

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