, KAMPALA, Jul 17 – Attacks by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army rebels led by Ugandan Joseph Kony have increased in recent months, despite US-backed regional military efforts to hunt them down, the UN said Tuesday.
“The analysis indicates an increasing trend in LRA attacks,” in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report.
Between April and June, 11 civilians were killed and 37 people abducted, the report said, with at least 62 attacks in north-eastern DR Congo, and nine attacks in eastern CAR in the second quarter of 2012.
However, there have been no recorded attacks in 2012 on South Sudan, once a regular LRA target, the report noted.
Regional armies — backed by around 100 United States special forces troops — are currently hunting the LRA in the remote central African jungles.
The rebels are thought to number around 150 fighters but have splintered into small groups and remain capable of terrorising communities across a vast area.
An estimated 475,000 people who fled their homes because of LRA violence remain displaced, according to the UN.
Led by self-proclaimed prophet Kony, the LRA have waged a ferocious insurgency across four countries in the region, becoming infamous for mutilating victims and abducting children for use as sex slaves and soldiers.