Today, Invisible Children and The Resolve released the 2013 LRA Crisis Tracker Security Brief. This annual report provides analysis on all data collected as part of the LRA Crisis Tracker, providing actionable intelligence for counter-LRA actors and valuable information for the public.
The report identifies five key findings from the 2013 data:
1.The LRA lost as much as one-fifth of its core fighting capacity.
In 2013, 16 Ugandan combatants defected from the LRA and another 16, including four senior officers, were confirmed killed or captured. In total, the LRA has lost 32–40 (16%–20%) of the estimated 200 Ugandan officers and fighters that were in its ranks at the beginning of 2013.
2.LRA commanders are also losing the captives they depend on most.
In order to sustain daily life in the bush, the LRA commanders rely on women, children, and other non-combatants to maintain camps and act as porters. Sixty-two (62) women and children who had spent at least six months in LRA captivity returned home in 2013 making it increasingly more difficult to sustain a large fighting force in the bush.
3.The AU RTF (African Union Regional Task Force) severely disrupted the LRA’s supply networks and safe havens.
Counter-LRA actors have managed to find and destroy large LRA camps in central Africa, including those in Kafai Kingi and some in DRC. Additionally, Ugandan RTF troops recovered supplies provided to a LRA group by Central African officials after the group abandoned ‘negotiations’ in November 2013.
4.LRA attacks and abductions in Congo dropped significantly.
LRA violence in Congo declined for the fourth consecutive year, with attacks dropping 44% and abductions dropping 35% from 2012–2013.
5.Large-scale LRA attacks in volatile CAR could be a lifeline for Kony.
The instability caused by the ex-Seleka in CAR has allowed the LRA to operate with little resistance in areas not controlled by the AU RTF. In 2013, LRA violence in CAR increased to its highest point since 2010.
The report itself expands in detail on these five key findings, as well as providing in-depth information on LRA survival, LRA force capacity, and trends specific to the rebel group’s activity both in DRC and CAR.
While the report exhibits encouraging trends, illustrating that counter-LRA efforts are proving effective, Invisible Children and our partners at The Resolve know that there is still much work to be done. Although the LRA may have lost one-fifth of its fighting capacity, conversely, 80% remain an active and threatening presence in central Africa. Additionally, although Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that displacement as a result of the LRA has decreased significantly, there still remain 236,800 displaced persons in DRC alone, and thousands more in CAR and South Sudan.
The LRA Crisis Tracker 2013 Security Brief launched in Kampala, Uganda at a press conference held at Invisible Children’s regional office. It has gone live online, along with a press release, for the international public.
We thank you for your continued support of Invisible Children, The Resolve, and our collaborative project, The LRA Crisis Tracker. Please see both the security brief itself and the press release for more detailed information.