The Mid-Year Security Brief provides a summary and analysis of the reported activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from January – June 2012 (analysis period).
This brief covers LRA activity in Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo), South Sudan, and Sudan.
Reported LRA attacks rose sharply during the analysis period, increasing by 129% from the latter half of 2011. LRA forces reportedly committed 190 attacks from January – June 2012, in which they killed 38 people and abducted 311 others. From July – December 2011, LRA forces reportedly committed 83 attacks, in which they killed 22 people and abducted 137 others.
LRA activity differed significantly across the region during the analysis period, underscoring the continued fragmentation of LRA groups. 82% (155) of reported LRA attacks occurred in Congo, comprised of mostly lootings and small-scale abductions. In CAR, LRA forces committed as many attacks (35) as they did throughout all of 2011, and reportedly killed twice as many people as they did in 2011. Notable LRA activity there included an attack on a French uranium mine near Bakouma. No attacks within South Sudan have been reported since September 2011.
No LRA attacks were reported in Sudan either from January – June 2012, but senior LRA commanders, including Joseph Kony, reportedly sought refuge in Sudan’s South Darfur region. Other senior commanders, including Dominic Ongwen and Okot Odhiambo, reportedly remained in southeast CAR. On May 12, Ugandan military forces apprehended Caesar Achellam, another senior LRA commander, along the CAR-Congo border.
In addition to Achellam, 230 combatants and abductees returned from the LRA from January – June 2012. This marked a 14% increase from the last six months of 2011.
In May and June 2012, more people reportedly escaped from the LRA than were abducted, the first months this occurred since November 2011. Notable defections included Achellam’s bodyguard, who escaped on June 26 with five other LRA officers after being blamed for allowing Achellam to escape.