Kony back in the Congo
It seems that LRA leader Joseph Kony, wanted by the International Criminal Court, is back in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Since the beginning of the year, LRA attacks have increased, killing civilians, abducting more and displacing tens of thousands of others.
In one province alone, the UNHCR has recorded 52 raids since January, killing 35 people, with over 100 abducted and 17,000 forced to leave their homes.
They report that the LRA are still using their horrific methods of terror:
“Attacks are often accompanied by extreme cruelty, including murder, mutilation, or amputation of the lips and ears – apparently aimed at terrorizing people with a view to displacing entire populations.”
The UNHCR also reports a worrying new trend – a shift from attacks on small rural locations, to larger attacks on more populated areas.
The Enough Project speculate that Kony’s move into the DRC along with other commanders could be an attempt to regroup in the country.
A peaceful end to the violence look as unlikely as ever, with the Ugandan armed forces again ruling out further peace talks.
They say that they will use force to defeat the rebels. The Ugandan People’s Defence Force say they have degraded the LRA’s communication network, forcing them to send messages by courier rather than by radio.
However, the disjointed nature of the LRA was again shown by an attack in the Central African Republic, as reported by AFP (translation).
The UPDF say the conflict will only end if Kony signs the peace deal that’s already on the table. Yet the offer has been open since 2008, and has never looked likely to be accepted.