UN: LRA Attacks on Rise in Central Africa

Posted March 30th, 2012 at 10:00 am (UTC-5)
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The U.N. refugee agency is reporting a new wave of violence by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa.

The UNHCR says that since March 6 there have been 13 new LRA attacks reported in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly in the Dungu territory.

It says two people were killed, and 13 abducted, including a child.

That brings the number of LRA attacks in northeastern DRC this year to 33, with more than 4,000 people displaced because of the violence.

The agency says an additional 11 LRA attacks have been reported in the Central African Republic this year.

Last week the African Union said it will deploy an additional 5,000 troops to search for fugitive LRA leader Joseph Kony.

The AU's special envoy on the LRA, Francisco Madeira, said the the troops will be supplied by Congo, the C.A.R., Uganda, and South Sudan — countries where the rebels have been active.

Madeira said the operation will not end until Kony is captured or killed.

Originally based in Uganda, the LRA has dwindled in size to a few hundred roving fighters in recent years. But LRA leader Kony remains wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The LRA has killed and mutilated tens of thousands of people over the past two decades and is notorious for kidnapping children to use as soldiers and sex slaves.

The group came to renewed public attention recently when an advocacy group, Invisible Children, publicized an online movie entitled “Kony 2012.” The film has been viewed more than 86 million times on YouTube.