February 26, 2009

Uganda Update

It has been a while since I posted last. Unfortunately, there have been few major developments in Uganda's hunt for Joseph Kony and the LRA in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here is the most recent update from the Invisible Children website:

Ugandan Army to End Operations in DRC
After two months of hunting Joseph Kony’s rebel army through the remote jungles of Garamba Forest in the DR Congo, Uganda will end the deployment of its forces to the region leaving United Nation peacekeepers and Congolese troops to hunt the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and to protect civilians. “Operation: Lightning Thunder,” the joint offensive a multi-national force against the LRA, has been the target of sharp criticism in recent weeks as the civilian causalities, which many experts believe a reaction by the LRA to the “Lightning Thunder,” have grown to an estimated 900 Congolese civilians in the four months alone. These developments come as African leaders have begun to call on western governments to directly take part in arresting Joseph Kony and end the atrocities of the LRA in eastern Congo. Archbishop of Sudan Daniel Deng told officials in the United Kingdom that the governments of the United States and the UK should support and participate in efforts to “bring (Kony) to the book” as Kony’s capture seems beyond the abilities of regional governments. The Rwandan government began to pull their forces out of DR Congo over the weekend of February 21st.

UN Secretary General to Visit DRC

Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, will visit DR Congo this week will to meet with President Joseph Kabila, leaders of the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Congo and with the victims of the recent displacement and sexual violence in eastern Congo. On February 19th, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimated that 15,000 Congolese are externally displaced in South Sudan, 150,000 Congolese are internally displaced within DR Congo while another 900 civilians have been killed by violence perpetrated by the LRA. UN spokesperson Hassan Yusuf gave a dire depiction of the growing internal displacement crisis in the region telling the international press corps, “we have seen the worst in recent months, seeing thousands of new refugees both externally and internally.”

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Though there have been few recent news reports (Some take this as a sign that the LRA has been unable to make any progress in their escape and rebuilding efforts), Newspapers today are reporting that the LRA is moving even further into the heart of Africa based on attacks committed in the Central African Republic. We will all have to sit back and wait to see what happens when Ugandan troops pull out of the DRC. Let's pray that some resolution comes to this situation soon.

1 comment:

  1. I invite you to see my new book on Uganda's child soldiers titled First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army. It's available at Amazon.com and you can see more at www.firstkillyourfamily.com and follow the issue at www.petereichstaedt.blogspot.com


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