“What’s at stake is not only the 440,000 currently displaced by the LRA, the thousands more living in limbo under constant fear of LRA attacks and abductions, or the memories of tens of thousands murdered. It is also the credibility of UN-AU collaboration to resolve and prevent myriad conflicts to come. The UN must ensure that the commitments already made in tandem with the AU are credibly and fully implemented. It must fulfill the promise of the UN’s Regional Strategy, of an end to the conflict and preventative action that will extend state authority and empower a devastated population.”
Today, Invisible Children joins ten other central African and international organizations in the release of a new LRA report entitled “Getting Back on Track: Implementing the UN Regional Strategy on the Lord’s Resistance Army.” The report reveals that the United Nations has made very little progress in implementing its international LRA strategy, which was released in June 2012.
As the first-ever international response to the LRA crisis, the UN strategy was welcomed by advocacy groups (including Invisible Children and our partners), as well as civil society groups in central Africa. The consensus was that, if translated into concrete and robust action, the UN strategy could very well end LRA violence, bring top commanders to justice, and pave the way for lasting recovery for affected communities in central Africa.
However, as this new report indicates — and as many groups worried — the UN has failed to make meaningful progress, even in very crucial areas like securing cooperation from regional governments such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, galvanizing needed resources from international governments, and establishing civilian protection systems in areas currently under threat of LRA attacks.
In addition to evaluating progress (or lack thereof) on the implementation of the UN strategy, the report also provides policy recommendations to relevant governments and institutions, stressing that the next several months provide a critical window of time to end LRA violence and apprehend top commanders. Robust and urgent international action is needed.
Read the full report HERE.
(Photo credit: UN Photo/Myriam Asmani)