LRA Attacks Against Civilians: 2012

The LRA Crisis Tracker, a joint project of Invisible Children and Resolve, just released its 2012 Annual Security Brief (PDF).

The Brief provides the most comprehensive analysis of recent LRA activity publicly available, giving field workers, policymakers, and activists a tool to better understand the LRA conflict. Using data collected by Invisible Children’s Early Warning Network, local communities, and organizations working in the region, Invisible Children and The Resolve- LRA Crisis Initiative analyzed thousands of pieces of data collected over the past twelve months. The brief addresses how LRA activity is changing as a result of Ugandan and American military operations and humanitarian efforts to help LRA abductees and fighters peacefully surrender. In particular, the report highlights the increasing number of Ugandan LRA fighters who are surrendering, the effectiveness of the counter-LRA strategy, and why LRA groups are abducting large numbers of people while reducing brutal massacres.

Below we highlight a couple of trends and conclusions of LRA activity from the past 12 months.

LRA violence spiked in the first half of 2012 and then tapered off in the second half of the year

243 abductions (47%) occurred between February and April, including 120 in March alone

There was an 8% reduction in LRA attacks from 2011 (299 attacks) to 2012 (275 attacks)

LRA violence

The number of Ugandan adult males returning from the LRA increased in 2012

Of the 20 who returned in 2012, 15 witnessed defection messaging in the form of either leaflets, FM or shortwave radio broadcasts, or helicopter-mounted speakers

11 Ugandans and 12 non-Ugandan members of the LRA defected to Safe Reporting Sites in CAR in 2012

defection graphs

The majority of LRA abductions in 2012 were adults used as temporary porters, not children trained to become future fighters

Over 64% of abductees escaped or were released within one month of their abduction

Children have comprised 31% of all abductees for whom age and gender information was recorded

Length of abduction

Civilians at escalated risk of attack in early 2013

There has been a spike in LRA attacks during the first several months of each of the past three years

LRA combatants perpetrated 275 attacks against civilians in 2012

There were 51 known deaths

attacks abductions killings

The Brief in its entirety is available [HERE] with the French version available [HERE]

To stay up-to-date on LRA activity visit or follow them on Twitter @CrisisTracker