In recent weeks, our Crisis Tracker team has reported on a series of LRA attacks in and around the community of Banda, located in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Beginning on August 26, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) fighters have reportedly carried out more than half a dozen attacks in the area, looting communities and travelers and abducting a total of at least 42 people.
Since the attacks began, most of those abducted have been released, but there are more than ten children who still remain unaccounted for and are presumed to still be in captivity.
This surge in attacks and abductions along with the testimony of some of the people released, indicate an LRA campaign to forcibly recruit children to refill the LRA’s dwindling ranks, putting countless children and families in the area at risk.
We need your help to support affected communities in three important ways:
+ Sound the alarm. Thanks to our Early Warning Network, communities are able to report these LRA attacks and share life-saving information. When alerted, communities can take measures to reduce their exposure to further attacks, like temporarily closing schools and warning people to avoid traveling along roadways where attacks have occurred.
+ Call LRA captives home. Our “Come Home” radio messages are broadcast across central Africa and encourage LRA captives and fighters to escape and come home. With these messages we are dismantling the LRA from within, limiting their ability to harm communities.
+ Help victims heal. We are training local leaders to recognize signs of trauma and equipping them with tools and information to help them support those suffering from trauma. We are also preparing communities to support people returning from LRA captivity.
But these programs are not possible without your support. Help us respond to this surge in LRA attacks by giving to support programs like the Early Warning Network, “Come Home” radio messages, and community-based trauma healing.
Below are details of LRA attacks as reported by the Crisis Tracker.
August 26: An LRA group of approximately 30 members looted the center of Banda town, abducting 27 civilians, and killing two members of the local police force. Three days later, they released 21 of the victims. The remaining six abductees, all children, remain in captivity.
August 31: An LRA group ambushed 18 people traveling along a road. After looting the victims, the LRA abducted three boys and two girls who had been traveling with the others.
September 2: A group of LRA fighters looted houses northeast of Dikuma, and abducted one man and two girls. They released the man later that day, while the two girls remain unaccounted for and presumed in captivity.
September 2: An LRA group ambushed civilians in a field east of Dikuma, DRC. They looted the victims and abducted three civilians who were later released. Upon return, those released reported that three other boys and three girls were being held captive.
September 3: The LRA released the three boys abducted on August 31. One of the boys had been severely tortured. Their captors reportedly informed them that the LRA had received instructions from their leader to forcibly recruit children into their ranks.
September 3: A suspected LRA group attacked a group of nomadic herders. They reportedly tied the nomadic women up before they looted the campsite of food, money, and other belongings.
September 12: Throughout the day, armed LRA fighters attacked and looted travelers along a road. They kidnapped three men and a young boy. The men were later released but the boy is believed to remain in captivity.
September 16: A group of suspected LRA fighters looted travelers along a road. They reportedly abducted a young boy.