Obo is a small, very remote community in the southeastern corner of the Central African Republic (CAR). It’s so remote that it’s often referred to as Africa’s “Pole of Inaccessibility” — meaning it’s one of the toughest places on the continent to reach. It’s also where one of our field offices is located and where much of our Invisible Children CAR team calls home.
The End of the U.S. and Ugandan Counter-LRA Missions in Central Africa
Civilians targeted in eastern CAR, LRA transports ivory through DRC
The following is a press release (408.34 kB) signed by 35 INGO's working in the Central African Republic
Bangui, August 11th 2017
Following the escalation of violence in many parts of the country, NGOs signatories, members of the INGO Coordination Committee (CCO) in the Central African Republic (CAR) call for an increased protection of civilians and an improved humanitarian access to allow the affected population access to vital aid.
As NGOs working across CAR, we witness the impact of violence on the civilian population on a daily basis:
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE
RCA : Le regain de violence contre les civils menace la fourniture de l’aide humanitaire essentielle et la survie des populations fragilisées par la crise.
Sectarian tensions steadily escalated in eastern Central African Republic (CAR) in the first six months of 2017. In June, violence spread from Haut Kotto and Mbomou prefectures into the communities of Zemio and Mboki in neighboring Haut Mbomou prefecture. Attacks by ex-Seleka, anti-balaka, and armed Peuhl have killed at least 346 civilians in the three prefectures since January 2017, including 177 in June alone.
One year ago this month, a group of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) fighters released 12 women and children, handing them over to one of our local partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The LRA group also passed along a message that they would release more captives if the 12 women and children were well cared for. We asked for your support to help us care for the released women and children, rapidly broadcast “Come Home” radio messages targeting this LRA group, and equip local communities to safely receive LRA escapees.
Armed groups have killed 220 civilians and abducted 96 others in eastern Central African Republic (CAR) since January 2017, while also killing eight peacekeepers from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA). Leadership from the UN Security Council and U.S. government is needed to expand community-based early warning, resilience, and social cohesion programs in eastern CAR and ensure MINUSCA more effectively implements its protection of civilians mandate.
In central Africa, where remoteness and limited infrastructure cause many communities to be isolated from each other and the world around them, FM radio can be a powerful tool for connection. Whether in a larger town, a small nomadic community, or deep in the forest, many people, including fighters in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), listen to the radio.
In the last decade, hundreds of individuals have escaped or been released from captivity in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Some have been women and children, released in large groups by LRA commanders. Many were held captive for a few days, forced to porter goods looted from their own homes. Hundreds were held captive for years, made to fight as soldiers or forced into marriages with LRA officers in camps hidden deep in the forest before finally seizing an opportunity to escape.
Local leaders are at the heart of everything we do to end violence and exploitation in vulnerable communities in central Africa. One of the many resourceful leaders developing innovative solutions to keep communities safe from violence is Maurille, who works with our community partner in the Central African Republic (CAR), Vie et Espoir.
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was responsible for 14 attacks in January 2017 in which they abducted 59 civilians, the highest monthly abduction total since September 2016. However, the 59 abductions in January 2017 was a sharp reduction compared to January 2016, when LRA forces abducted 171 civilians.
A message from our CEO, Lisa Dougan:
Today is a bittersweet day. Earlier this morning, our friends at The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative announced that they will be closing their doors today. Please take a moment to read the message below from Resolve’s Director, Paul Ronan.
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.