The LRA operates in some of the most remote regions of central Africa, terrorizing communities who lack the basic communication infrastructure to report LRA attacks or receive warning when LRA groups are active nearby. Historically, the rebel group has been able to move freely, attacking multiple neighbouring villages. These atrocities go largely undetected and undeterred. In December 2009, the LRA killed more than 320 people in four days, attacking ten villages over a 105-km distance in the Democratic Republic of Congo in what became known as the Makombo Massacre. The lack of communications systems, combined with the limited capacity of national forces, meant that communities along this route received no advance warning that the LRA were heading towards them, and became victims of subsequent, multi-day attacks.
The Early Warning Network exists to disrupt these patterns of violence. It’s composed of high-frequency, two-way, long-range radios that give communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic (CAR) the ability to report LRA activity to one another. Invisible Children has partnered with local community organizations to utilize local expertise and expand the HF network in a sustainable way.
After being vetted, this information is fed into the LRA Crisis Tracker, a public website that provides near-real-time information on current LRA activity. This system promotes quicker confirmation of security incidents, giving humanitarians and communities the information necessary to prepare for and mitigate the effects of LRA activity.