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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.

Our response

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.


74 vulnerable communities protected

84 information collection points

311,175 people directly benefit from the Early Warning Network

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The need for an Early Warning Network was initially identified by a local organization in DR Congo called Commission Diocésaine pour Justice et Paix (CDJP). Its implementation was further recommended after Human Rights Watch, UN DDR/RR, and Invisible Children assessments in the region. Communities participating in the project do so voluntarily. They have been identified by their susceptibility to LRA attack and their lack of communication infrastructure necessary to report and receive security information.

Today, the Early Warning Network facilitates twice-daily security broadcasts between 59 HF radios and 27 satellite phones, protecting 74 communities. Invisible Children is constantly expanding the Early Warning Network in order to improve the accuracy of the information gathered and connect more communities to this life-saving mechanism.  Invisible Children is also refurbishing non-operational and abandoned HF radios in DR Congo. In CAR, satellite phones have been integrated into the Early Warning Network allowing for more rapid expansion of the network, and giving communities the ability to more easily hide their communication equipment in case of an LRA attack.

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