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ABSTRACT: The Lord’s Resistance Army continues to be a threat to the livelihoods of civilians in a vast area of Central Africa. Three countries are affected by the actions perpetrated by a militia with a humanitarian impact far higher than its actual size would suggest. INTERSOS, present both in Southern Sudan and in Democratic Republic of Congo, is implementing a regional strategy to respond to this crisis with the goal to utilize its relative added values in terms of flexibility and cross border presence.
Following a recent protection report by INTERSOS, tensions seem to be rising in the northern DRC between local communities and Mbororo nomads. In the area, which is already targeted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) frequent attacks, many Mbororos have been forced to flee as a consequence of increasing confrontations with the Congolese Army (FARDC). Many of them have taken shelter in South Sudan, in the area of Ezo, where they have received assistance by humanitarian agencies working there.
The following interview was conducted in Nairobi last week. The questions were answered by the Regional director (Africa) of Intersos, Mr Marcelo Garcia, who is based in Nairobi.
1. When and why did INTERSOS start operating in the Haut Uélé District?
We started operating in DRC in 2009, since then we were collaborating with UNHCR in South Sudan, Western Equatoria State, (Yambio County and Ezo County) in order to respond to the emergency represented by the Congolese LRA affected refugees, hosted in Makpandu and Ezo settlements.