Armed Violence and Stabilisation in Western Equatoria
Displaced in South Sudan suffer from aftermath of LRA violence
A new report conducted by DRC/DDG in South Sudan shows that the population is still suffering from widespread and enduring social trauma as a result of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) violence, even though the militant group has disappeared from the country.
Between 2007 and 2011, attacks by Lord’s Resistance Army displaced between 70,000 and 100,000 civilians in Western Equatoria state. There have been no confirmed LRA sightings or attacks since June, 2011, but the displaced communities are still suffering from the aftermaths from the LRA violence. And while regional LRA violence continues to receive a significant degree of attention, a parallel effort to support victims of this violence has not materialized in Western Equatoria.
More than 49,000 IDPs and 12,000 refugees remain dispersed across Western Equatoria, without being able to return to their locations of origin. Living in remote areas and often being unable to establish new livelihoods or homes, the displaced suffer more than the rest of the population both in regard to security and recovery.
“Feelings of insecurity, exposure to previous LRA violence and experience of crime are significantly higher among IDP populations, many of whom feel threatened, isolated and marginalized by their host communities,” says Rebecca Roberts, head of Armed Violence Reduction, Danish Demining Group in South Sudan.
The study finds that there is an urgent need for support in the form of security and mediation services, conflict management education, psycho-social counseling and humanitarian aid.
“Without a significant increase in external support, particularly in relation to sustainable development, community-level safety and security, it is highly likely that this situation will stagnate,” says Rebecca Roberts.
DRC/DDG is supporting people in Western Equatoria, who have been affected by the LRA violence. As a conflict reduction and peace building organization, DRC/DDG focuses on the effects of violence and enduring conflict-risks.