UN condemns LRA attacks

November 18, 2009 12:00 am

, UNITED NATIONS, Nov 18 – The UN Security Council "strongly condemned" the ongoing attacks and acts of violence of Uganda\\\’s rebel Lord\\\’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

"The (15) members of the Security Council strongly condemned the continued and recently increasing attacks carried out by the Lord\\\’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic and Sudan," it said.

The attacks "have resulted in the death, abduction and displacement of thousands of civilians," said Austrian Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, who this month holds the council\\\’s rotating presidency.

He said the council praised the "increased cooperation" of regional governments in dealing with the "serious threat posed by the LRA," and encouraged them to cooperate fully with the United nations to ensure the protection of civilians in the area.

The council called on UN missions in the region "to coordinate strategies for, and information on, the protection of civilians, in light of the attacks by the LRA."

The UN missions include MONUC (UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), UNMIS (in the Sudan), MINURCAT (in the Central African Republic and Chad, UNAMID (African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur) and BONUCA (United Nations Peace-building Office in the Central African Republic).

The LRA guerrilla group, whose chief Joseph Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court, first appeared in northern Uganga in 1988 and has since expanded into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and south Sudan.

Earlier this year in south Sudan, LRA men attacked several food aid distribution stations, killed hundreds of civilians and kidnapped children for use as soldiers, forcing thousands of people into Western Equatoria.

And two incidents, possibly involving Kony\\\’s men, have been reported in recent weeks in the south\\\’s Bahr al-Ghazal region, which is wedged between the CAR and the Darfur region of western Sudan, sparking rumours the LRA is moving into Darfur.

South Sudan\\\’s army — whose relations with the central government are strained — has accused Khartoum of supporting an LRA presence in Darfur, an accusation dismissed by the central government.


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