Since founding the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda in the late 1980s, Joseph Kony’s control over the group’s command structure has been remarkably durable. Despite having no formal military training, he has motivated and ruled LRA members with a mixture of harsh discipline, incentives, and clever manipulation. When necessary, he has demoted or executed dozens of commanders that he perceived as threats to his power.
LRA Violence Against Civilians
Attacks, killings, and abductions committed against civilians by the LRA, with additional options to view violence against civilians by unidentified armed groups and other non-state armed groups in LRA-affected areas.
Major LRA Attacks
Attacks in which an LRA group killed at least five people and/or abducted at least 10 civilians.
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) forces abducted 25 civilians in 10 attacks in November, with a significant majority of abductions occurring in eastern Central African Republic (CAR). A series of clashes involving ex-Séléka factions in and near Bria, CAR, left at least 14 civilians dead in late November. Armed groups continued to be active in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), particularly along the border with South Sudan's Western Equatoria state.
Low levels of LRA violence consistent with previous years
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) forces abducted 44 civilians in eight attacks in October, among the lowest monthly totals recorded in 2016. Five of these attacks and nearly all of the abductions were likely committed by the LRA splinter group led by Achaye Doctor, which has been operating independently of Joseph Kony's command since late 2014.
Achaye splinter group targets communities in southeast CAR
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was responsible for ten attacks in July 2016 in which they abducted 12 civilians, the lowest monthly abduction total so far in 2016. Attacks by unidentified armed groups in LRA-affected areas rose for the second consecutive month, with a total of 15 attacks in July. LRA defectors reported additional evidence that the rebel group is seeking to abduct young boys and put them through military training.
Attacks on civilians concentrated west of Garamba National Park
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony has proven capable of outmaneuvering internal rivals and external military threats for nearly three decades, but his once firm control over the group’s command structure is eroding. LRA groups are scattered across a vast territory, and Ugandan fighters are defecting at a slow but steady rate, demoralized by Kony’s harsh disciplinary measures and lack of vision for the future. At least one group of LRA officers led by Achaye Doctor has splintered and is operating independently of Kony’s command.
Mise à Jour
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was responsible for 13 attacks on civilians in May 2016 in which they abducted 25 people, the second-lowest monthly total so far in 2016. There were eight LRA attacks in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), concentrated near Garamba National Park. The five LRA attacks in eastern Central African Republic (CAR) in May 2016 targeted civilians on or near communities along the Bangassou-Obo axis.
LRA continues to target civilians near DRC’s Garamba National Park
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was responsible for 296 civilian abductions during Quarter 1 2016 (Q1 2016), covering the months of January–March 2016. The 296 abductions, the most by the LRA in a single quarter since Quarter 3 2010, highlighted a significant surge in LRA violence. 14 longterm abductees escaped from the LRA in Q1 2016, including three adult male Ugandan fighters.
Senior LRA leaders reportedly order child abductions in eastern CAR
En 2015, les forces de l’Armée de Résistance du Seigneur (LRA) étaient actives en République Centrafricaine (RCA), dans la République Démocratique du Congo (Congo/RDC), au Soudan du Sud, et dans l’enclave disputée de Kafia Kingi à la frontière entre le Soudan et le Soudan du Sud. La LRA a enlevé 612 personnes dans 203 attaques en 2015, une légère diminution par rapport à 2014, bien que le nombre d’enlèvements était plus élevé qu’ils ne l’étaient en 2012 ou 2013.
In 2015, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) forces were active in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo), South Sudan, and in Sudanese-controlled areas of South Darfur and the disputed Kafia Kingi enclave. The LRA abducted 612 people in 203 attacks in 2015, a slight reduction compared to 2014, though the number of abductions was higher than in both 2012 and 2013.
Trends in Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) violence in eastern Central African Republic (CAR) and northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo) diverged sharply in the first eight months of 2015. In Congo, LRA groups utilized bold tactics rarely employed in recent years, killing at least six Congolese soldiers and conducting a series of large-scale looting raids that led to a surge in civilian abductions.
Total LRA attacks and abductions increased in 2014, reversing years of decline
Trends in LRA violence varied dramatically at the local level
The LRA’s command structure is in upheaval
The LRA’s fighting capacity is dropping (slowly)
The LRA is losing its most experienced women and children captives
The LRA is using collaborators to traffic illicit resources
The LRA and Seleka have a complicated relationship
The LRA is not the only armed group attacking civilians
In partnership with The Resolve, we’ve just released a new reportfrom the LRA Crisis Tracker, which demonstrates important trends in LRA activity over the last six months. Our friend Paul Ronan does a great job at summarizing this data, which points to a spike in LRA abductions in DR Congo and Central African Republic (CAR).
Kony ordered LRA elephant poaching mission to DRC’s Garamba National Park
LRA fighters collecting gold and diamonds in eastern Central African Republic
Illicit ivory, gold, and diamonds reportedly sent to Kony’s hideout in Sudanese-controlled Kafia Kingi enclave
Tracking Kony across central Africa
By Paul Ronan
By Paul Ronan
Reuters reports that Ugandan and Seleka troops have clashed several times this week in eastern Central African Republic, leaving over a dozen Seleka soldiers and several Ugandan troops dead. The clashes have taken place near Nzako, a small mining town located in the CAR’s Mbomou prefecture that has been a hotbed of LRA activity in the past year.
Executive Summary: Seasonal spike in LRA attacks, more defections in CAR
Résumé: Les cinq évolutions les plus importantes de la LRA en 2013