Civil Society in Haut Mbomou

Ten days ago the government in Central African Republic (CAR) was overthrown by the Seleka rebels. Because of this, the mission to stop the LRA is in jeopardy. Today, Invisible Children is standing alongside civil society leaders in CAR as we urge the international community to uphold their commitments to protect innocent civilians and put a stop to LRA violence. Below are handwritten letters from civil society members in CAR expressing the potential devastation to the civilian population who depends on these external forces for protection.

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“We pray you to reconsider your decision. After the forces leave, LRA will enter immediately in our city. Because Haut-Mbomou is an autonomous district, Bangui does not react to our calls of distress.”
– Radio Zereda

“We ask the international opinion and the African Union that the American forces and the UPDF based in Obo stay for the security of our community until the capture of Joseph Kony.”
– representative of the Community of the Evangelical Churches in Central Africa

“If these two force leave us, we will fall back in the same situation that we found during the highest times of the LRA conflict.”
– Local Protection Committee of Obo

“We beg the White House and the African Union to come back on their decision. Otherwise Obo will be erased from the face of the earth.”
– Association of Victims of the LRA of Obo, Haut-Mbomou

“We, the youth of Haut-Mbomou, representing 90% of the suffering population in this area, oppose the departure of the American and Ugandan forces as their departure would bring us back to the year 2008.”

– Youth Regional Council

“It is thanks to these two forces that the population is less affected and if they leave we will all be killed by the LRA.”
– Internal Displaced People Committee

“It is thanks to the presence of these two forces that our victims and survivors are now living in peace and tranquility. We thank the White House for its best understanding.”
– Association of Host Families and of Solidarity for Victims and Survivors (AFASVR)

“No one here ignores the intrinsic value of the support these two forces provide in the fight against the LRA rebels of Joseph Kony. From the depths of our hearts, women from Haut-Mbomou oppose themselves to this precipitated departure, as it will lead to sexual abuse on girls and women, and to them becoming porters.”
– Women Association

“In our opinion, the departure of Ugandan and American troops from our region wold be a disaster. We, in the name of the religious leaders in the LRA-affected region, pray you to retract this decision, until the day this Ugandan rebel group will be ousted out of CAR.”
– Catholic Church leader

“The NGO – JUPEDEC, as a Central African civil society, condemns the departure of Ugandan and American troops in the Southeast of CAR, by concern for the affected population in Haut-Mbomou, which has been abandoned and mistreated by the LRA.”

We are asking the international community to encourage Uganda and the U.S. to stand behind their commitments to stop the LRA by tweeting Secretary of State John Kerry.

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