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For decades, Joseph Kony has ruled his army through fear and lies, convincing members of the LRA that they can never return home because their own families and communities won’t accept them back. Many LRA soldiers are unwilling combatants and have little desire to continue fighting. They are hundreds of kilometers from home and disconnected from the original political goals of the LRA, yet abductees fear the response of local communities, security forces and even their own families to their surrender.

Our response

Our defection fliers are practical and emotional messages of hope that combat Kony’s lies, encouraging LRA combatants to surrender and giving instructions for doing so safely. This includes directions to specific locations called “safe reporting sites”, where local authorities will receive LRA escapees. The fliers also have photos of recently escaped LRA combatants, shown holding the flier they surrendered with, or reunited with their families – these surrendered combatants are often known and recognised by those still fighting.

Our messaging specifically targets Acholi fighters from northern Uganda (where the LRA conflict began) who have been in the LRA for several years and hold high-ranking positions. The surrender of these leaders within the LRA will often result in freedom for their respective groups, and deal a significant blow to the fighting capacity of the LRA.

Statistics

5 languages printed on fliers

1.4 million fliers distributed

24 flier variations

Learn more

Utilizing the Acholi leadership at Invisible Children, LRA experts, and former members of the LRA, Invisible Children has distributed more than 1,428,050 fliers by land or air (including plane drops) across the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan. With feedback from Uganda, DR Congo, and CAR, Invisible Children’s design team in San Diego reacts quickly to the dynamic developments in the conflict by designing fliers that include recent escapees and updated text, which is adjusted circumstantially. After being designed in San Diego, Invisible Children prints the fliers in Kampala, Uganda, then works with partners in central Africa to distribute them by land or air at strategic locations in the region.

Encouraging and facilitating the peaceful surrender of LRA combatants is one of the most effective ways to reduce threats to communities in central Africa and weaken the LRA’s ability to effectively operate. International actors, including the militaries tracking the LRA, are highly supportive of and contribute to “come home” messaging with the ultimate goal of peacefully removing the LRA from the battlefield.

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Safe Reporting Sites

Safe reporting sites are locations where the LRA can safely surrender. Members of the LRA learn about these secure locations through fliers, radio broadcasts, and speakers mounted on helicopters. The messages assure the LRA that they will be peacefully accepted…

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