New UN Report Highlights Lord’s Resistance Army Atrocities Against Children
he Ugandan rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) remains among the most persistent perpetrators of grave violations against children, says a new United Nations report.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s first report to the Security Council on the situation of children affected by the LRA documents violations committed against children, and measures taken to address the LRA threat between July 2009 and February 2012.
Over the reporting period, at least 591 children, including 268 girls, were abducted and recruited by the LRA, mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but also in the Central African Republic (CAR), and in South Sudan.
The LRA is currently believed to be made up of between 200 and 500 fighters. Formed in the 1980s in Uganda, the LRA mainly directed its attacks against Ugandan civilians and security forces for over 15 years. By 2004, it had largely been driven of the area through a sustained military effort. It then exported its activities to Uganda’s neighbouring countries, with practices that include the recruitment of children, rapes, killing and maiming, and sexual slavery.
“The LRA continues to cast a long shadow across central Africa, causing enormous suffering for children,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, at a press conference at UN Headquarters today.