Want the latest on the LRA? Today Invisible Children + The Resolve launched the Quarter 1, 2014 LRA Crisis Tracker Security Brief which covers LRA activity between January-March 2014. Here are a few highlights from the analysis:
1. Seasonal spike in LRA attacks
Typical for the regional dry season, there has been a spike in LRA attacks during the first quarter of 2014 with 133 civilians abducted in 61 attacks across CAR and DRC during the last three months. During the dry season, the availability of wild crops in the jungle of central Africa is limited, and small-scale cultivation is difficult. In turn the LRA relies more heavily on looting food from civilians in order to sustain life in the bush.
2. CAR: Although attacks increased in the Haut Mbomou prefecture, defections in eastern Central African Republic also rose.
LRA violence rose sharply in the CAR’s Haut Mbomou prefecture, where Ugandan and US troops are based. The group’s 17 attacks and 35 abductions in the prefecture in Quarter 1 2014 approached or surpassed yearly totals there in both 2012 and 2013. However, 18 LRA members who had been with the group for at least six months escaped in Quarter 1 2014, including five Ugandan male combatants, five women, and eight children.
3. Congo: LRA attacks shift west, specifically targeting communities near Niangara and Bangadi.
While LRA attacks near Garamba National Park have dropped significantly in the past 6 months, they have increased further west in Haut Uele district, with 36 abductions and 39 reported lootings in 23 attacks. The LRA has targeted communities near Niangara and Bangadi seemingly undeterred by the presence of Congolese and MONUSCO (UN mission in Congo) security forces there.
4. The LRA returns to Kafia Kingi?
Recent attacks in the Haut Kotto and Vakaga prefectures in northern CAR and reports from various sources indicate that senior LRA commanders are once again operating in the neighboring Kafia Kingi enclave; an area that Joseph Kony has been known to take safe haven in as recently as March, 2013.
For more information and further analysis, find the full, interactive brief here.