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The United Nations (UN) has said Uganda’s rebel outfit, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is in alliance with the seleka rebels of Central African Republic (CAR) which could prolong the rebellion.

Seleka fighters
Seleka fighters

The report of the findings by a joint Assessment Mission of the UN, European Union and African Union observers released last week, indicates the LRA led by Joseph Kony carried out 65 attacks on villages in CAR in the recent months which resulted into 93 abductions and two deaths.

But “besides terrorising local populations, LRA has also entertained relationships with some key armed groups in CAR,” the report notes in part, adding that CAR’s ex-rebel turned president Michel Djotodia in 2013, opened up contacts with the group and provided them with some support based on a false claim that Kony was willing to surrender.

The “relationships extend down the rank and file of ex-Seleka”, the report adds: “There were opportunistic relationships between the politico-military group and LRA. Some reports have indicated that ex-Seleka fighters are involved in trading with LRA in illegally sourced diamonds and ivory.”

The LRA-Seleka “ambiguous relationship” the report says, has further complicated the operations of the African Union led regional force, in some key LRA affected areas.

But while this all happens, the UN says CAR’s armed forces-FACA – “is also unable to resist the threat posed by external armed groups” such as the LRA due to lack of capacity and morale.

UN recommendations
In recommendation, UN urged countries like Uganda, France, among others, to revise their military strategies and intensification of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes to tackle the country’ security challenges.

Meanwhile, 76 members of the US House of Representatives have written to President Barack Obama expressing their continued support for the country’s efforts to end the insurgency in CAR, partly exacerbated by Kony.

In the August 1 letter to Mr Obama, the members of Congress noted that: “Through US support, the regional counter-LRA mission has made significant progress in denting this deadly force.

Therefore “we urge you to maintain US efforts to end the LRA threat and ensure they are part of a broader strategy focused on promoting security across the region.”

The Congress observed that Kony’s method of filling LRA ranks through mass abduction of children underscores the risk that the group will regenerate if we and regional governments initiate a premature draw down on LRA operations.

The Monitor