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LRA continues to operate in three African countries : AU report

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June 6, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Ugandan rebel Lord Resistance Army is still operating in three African countries and expressed fears that the still maintains the potential to rejuvenate, said a report by the African Union.

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Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Major General Joseph Kony, is seen at peace negotiations in Ri-Kwangba, South Sudan on November 30, 2008 (Reuters)

"The LRA has maintained an active presence in [the] CAR, DRC and parts of South Sudan where it continues to raid, ambush, loot, torture, abduct and detain civilians, as well as traffic ivory poached from the Garamba National Park in the DRC, and minerals looted from [the] CAR to sustain itself and its leader, Joseph Kony," said a report to the African Union Peace and Security last May by the head of the AU commission Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Last April, the Ugandan army ended pursuit operations in the Central African Republic (CAR) for the LRA rebels saying that its leader “Joseph Kony with less than 100 fighters is now weak and ineffective.

Kony "no longer poses any significant threat to Uganda’s security and Northern Uganda in particular,” said the spokesperson of the Ugandan Army Richard Karemire.

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) Report a website specialised on the PSC activities which disclosed the report further said that Mahamat mentioned that the LRA conducted 16 attacks "in which they abducted 70 civilians in [the] DRC and CAR, representing the group’s highest total monthly abduction since September 2016".

Last March Sudanese army chief of staff participated for the first time in the meetings of the Joint Coordination Mechanism of the African Union-led Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA).

However, the PSC Report said Khartoum did not commit itself to take part in the pursuit operations or to facilitate it.

Based on this findings, the PSC in its meeting of 12 May 2017 reaffirmed that the "LRA has not yet been eliminated and still maintains the potential to rejuvenate itself".

"If the security vacuum following the withdrawal of the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and the U.S. Special Forces is not urgently filled, and if the current momentum and pressure by the RTF (Regional Task Force)are not sustained".

The meeting decided to request the UN Security Council to take into account the disarmament of the LRA in the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic and decided to extend the mandate of the RCI-LRA until 22 May 2018.

(ST)

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