Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Lord's Resistance Army

This is a REDFOR post about a practically unknown group of terrorists/insurgents/guerrilla fighters that are responsible for destabilizing a rather large chunk of Central Africa. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) was founded 16 years ago by a guy named Joseph Kony. It was one of the numerous militias that spun up around the time that a lot of the third world dictators left over from the Cold War starting dying off and their countries spun into civil war.

The LRA got its start 16 years ago in northern Uganda. Its roots are tribal (Acholi), and its started with the usual complaints that the government was favoring other tribes over them. Religion also played a part (this area is where Christians, Animists/traditionalists, and Muslims all meet). Kony started up a revolutionary movement that rapidly got nasty. The Sudanese government provided some support to destabilized Uganda and Southern Sudanese rebels and things got out of hand.

While I would normally go into detail about tactics, weapons and capabilities of this organization there isn't much to hit on. Kony's force is estimated to be less than 1000 hard core fighters, but they have had an impact way out of proportion to their numbers. The LRA has raided Uganda, Central African Republic, Sudan, Congo and Chad in its history (and all them in the last 2 years). They have raided for slaves (for their use and to sell on the slave markets in Sudan, yes they exist), child soldiers (they are one of the big users in Africa), food, supplies, and sometimes just blood. In 2007/08 Christmas season the LRA launched a series of attacks in various countries (mostly Uganda) where LRA fighters hacked dozens of people to death in churches (45 in one attack alone).

The LRA was based out of Garamba National Park in the Congo until early 2008 when Ugandan and Congo/UN troops swept the area. Since then the LRA has been constantly on the move hitting anyone and anything they can, usually civilians.

Despite numerous attempts to make peace with this group, the LRA appears to be a group that needs to be hunted down and wiped out. The main reason negotiations have failed is that Kony has been indited on numerous counts of War Crimes ranging from mass murder to using child soldiers. He is looking at life and since he can't get amnisty he appears to want to go down fighting. Uganda and the Congo are refusing to let the criminal charges go, so this won't end nicely.

This is prime example of how Africa was set up for failure when Europe left. One group with ties to various tribes in several areas has moved from place to place causing huge amounts of suffering and disruption. Kony's extended tribe is spread out over at least two countries and he has recruited followers from a total of five countries. He isn't a problem for one country, but for the whole region.

This is also a great example of the MSM's failure to provide real news. The LRA is something that should be front page and should be a major focus of effort to run down. The UN is kinda sorta involved in finding him, but if the US ran this bozo down and killed or captured him, that would do more good in central Africa than any 10 USA For Africa Concerts would. It would make us a lot of friends and do something tangible for regional security. But its Africa and the US MSM could care less.


  1. Yes, it is sad that this group hasn't been talked about more. I've heard of them (thanks to Reuters) but even then I have not heard this much about them. In fact I thought they had ended quite awhile ago.
    So I agree, this type of stuff should be talked about more, but since they're not something that will sell adverstising time, they will not be covered by the media. At least not in this country anyway.

  2. Yeah, you hear everyone rambling on a about "helping the less fortunate" and they never have heard about the Congo Civil War that has killed 5 million people.

  3. It's not like these guys are some group of total unknowns....