This week, Enough Project released two chilling reports about the scale of ongoing violence being carried out by the Lord's Resistance Army in DR Congo and South Sudan.
The first - a press release about attacks in DR Congo - brings attention to the upcoming one-year anniversary of the horrific "Christmas Massacres" carried out by the LRA against Congolese communities during Christmas celebrations last December. LRA fighters massacred over 800 people in a series of coordinated attacks launched on Christmas and the days following, and the rebel group is threatening local communities that it may return and attack them again this year.
Writes Enough Project:
- During a research mission in Haut Uele last week, an Enough field researcher spoke to Congolese civilians who had received direct warnings from the LRA of fresh attacks against the villages of Ngilima, Bangadi and Niangara. "Residents of Bangadi and Niangara, as well as local and international relief organizations, also reported having seen letters from the rebels threatening mass killings during the upcoming holiday period," recounted Enough field researcher Ledio Cakaj.
Enough Project is calling for the United Nations to deploy its peacekeepers in greater numbers to protect vulnerable communities, though U.N. forces have been unable (unwilling?) to do so in the past.
The second report is an in-depth look at LRA violence in South Sudan. As Sudan prepares for national elections and attempts to implement a national peace accord after decades of war, the LRA remains a serious threat to stability and progress toward lasting peace.
Researcher Ledio Cakaj writes:
- The cross-border nature of the LRA is a clear threat to international peace and security, but the international response thus far has been woefully inadequate. The situation in Western Equatoria State in Sudan's southwest corner is but one example among many of the unique challenges that this insurgent group poses to the international community's responsibility to protect. Recent attacks have caused death, displacement, and made an already difficult humanitarian situation much worse.
With international media attention nowhere to be found near the fields of ongoing violence, we are deeply grateful to our colleagues at Enough Project - as well as Human Rights Watch - for being among the only people who are digging up and reporting on what's really taking place.
Resolve Uganda Director of Advocacy Paul Ronan is soon to undertake a fact-finding mission to Uganda, Sudan, and the DR Congo (and possibly Central African Republic); look for details, reports, and updates from him next month.