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 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.