Mercy Southam, one of the LRA Crisis Tracker Project Developers in our San Diego headquarters, is compiling weekly reports based on data generated from IC’s Early Warning Radio Network, the UN, and organizations on the ground. She will be breaking down the information and highlighting specified activity in the weekly blog post, On The Radar. For real-time updates on LRA attacks, check out LRA Crisis Tracker online, follow us on Twitter @CrisisTracker, or download the free iPhone app here.
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) activity has increased significantly in the last few weeks. In fact, the first week of February had the most reported LRA incidents since July 2011. Our LRA Crisis Tracker team is working to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date information from the ground – so, here are some main highlights from the last 7 days.
11 February 2012 – A young girl escaped from the LRA and was found just off the main road near a community called Nagero, DRC. She had been abducted on 8 February near Djabir, DRC – a community 30km away from her escape.
The LRA Crisis Tracker team has documented a number of “short term abductions” recently – ie. civilians being abducted and released within 24 hours – but, each time we hear of an escape we are reminded of the power of “Come Home” messaging. In addition to the HF Network, Invisible Children has been able to fund a number of FM radio projects, encouraging LRA combatants and abductees to return home and receive rehabilitation. The young girl in this particular story is currently with security forces, and will be reunited with her family and community as quickly as possible.
10 February 2012 – In Bangulukpu, DRC, a man, abducted by LRA earlier in the day with his wife, was stabbed to death after he fell down while carrying two large sacks of flour and corn. His wife was subsequently released.
This report is a reminder of the vicious nature of LRA combatants, and their current desperation for food and supplies. In recent weeks, we have noticed a significant increase in incidents of looting which leads us to assume that the LRA is in dire need of sustenance.
Last week, Invisible Children and Resolve released our first-ever LRA Crisis Tracker Annual Security Brief which provides detailed analysis of LRA activity during 2011 in the tri-border region between DR Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR).