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Tracking Uganda's Lords Resistance Army: The Regional Context
Townhall.com ^ | October 19, 2011 | Austin Bay

Posted on 10/19/2011 6:31:26 AM PDT by Kaslin

For almost two decades, Joseph Kony, senior commander of the Ugandan rebel Lords Resistance Army, has practiced a peculiarly evil brand of the sociopathic warfare that curses central Africa.

Listing the horrors committed by Kony and his thugs numbs the mind, but also substantiates the case for dispatching U.S. special operations soldiers to help Ugandan forces combat the killers. The very public deployment of such a small but technically capable U.S. force also sends a diplomatic signal. There are bad actors in central and east Africa who benefit from violent instability throughout the region -- bad actors who encourage and seed LRA-style vicious anarchy.

The LRA's documented crimes include gang rape, child abduction, sexual slavery, rampant looting and physical mutilation (with machetes the preferred instrument) of the living and the dead. LRA cadres have murdered villagers in four different African countries -- Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Africa's newest independent nation, South Sudan. In 2005, the International Criminal Court indicted Kony on 33 criminal counts. Since 2008, the LRA has been implicated in the deaths of another 2,500 to 3,000 people in central Africa.

This desperately poor territory is savaged by wars that have international political, religious, economic and tribal dimensions. Here is an indicative but incomplete sketch of the turmoil.

South Sudan formally separated from Sudan (Khartoum government, the north) in July. Despite international peacekeeping forces, Khartoum's Islamist government and South Sudan are fighting a slow war over the disputed border areas. It is a continuation of their long civil war, in which Uganda and Kenya favored the south. South Sudan is predominantly Christian or animist black African, the north predominantly Muslim and Arab or Arabized.

The LRA has roots in Uganda's civil war, which erupted as Muslim dictator Idi Amin's regime collapsed in 1979. Many Acholi tribesmen in north Uganda distrusted the new government established by Yoweri Museveni (who remains Uganda's president). An Acholi-backed guerrilla group called the Holy Spirit Mobile Forces formed in the late 1980s. In 1993, the LRA emerged, with Kony as its leader. The LRA provided the Khartoum government with a convenient proxy army to counter Uganda's support for southern Sudanese guerrillas.

In 1999, Sudan and Uganda agreed to end support for rebel organizations (ie, the LRA in Sudan's case, the southern Sudanese rebels in Uganda's case). Khartoum let Ugandan forces pursue the LRA into its territory.

Since 2003, the LRA has diminished in size, shrinking from several thousand fighters to a remnant band of some 200. Its ferocity, however, has not diminished, nor its capacity for bloodshed, nor its potential usefulness to Khartoum.

The Ugandan government has accused Khartoum of continuing to secretly provide support for Kony, though no one has publicly produced hard evidence of Sudanese complicity. Yet Kony has shown an uncanny ability to evade capture. That suggests he has high-level intelligence sources. Khartoum is a terrorist facilitator waging a genocidal war in its own Darfur region. South Sudan has repeatedly accused Sudan of inciting tribal wars with the goal of making South Sudan a failed state. The LRA's continuing existence contributes to South Sudan's instability.

Uganda may possibly have new intelligence regarding Kony's precise whereabouts. This would make an American-supported effort to end Kony's career quite timely. Removing the LRA scourge will improve security conditions in Congo's northeastern provinces and South Sudan. It will also remind Khartoum's leaders that fomenting chaos has consequences. Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, faces International Criminal Court war crimes charges for atrocities committed in Darfur. Kony's arrest might provide Bashir with a sudden dose of sobriety.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: lra; uganda

1 posted on 10/19/2011 6:31:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

but...But...I thought Obama (loathing, read tagline below) did not want an exceptional America who is always there for everybody when needed. Gee, I must have misunderstood poor Obama the commie friend of all democrats.


2 posted on 10/19/2011 6:35:54 AM PDT by Rapscallion (OBAMA speak his name with loathing for what he has done to America!)
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To: Kaslin

but...But...I thought Obama (loathing, read tagline below) did not want an exceptional America who is always there for everybody when needed. Gee, I must have misunderstood poor Obama the commie friend of all democrats.


3 posted on 10/19/2011 6:36:15 AM PDT by Rapscallion (OBAMA speak his name with loathing for what he has done to America!)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March

Ping to ya.


4 posted on 10/19/2011 6:41:21 AM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: Kaslin
For any FReepers who haven't seen this story before here's a guy who can tell you all about the Lord's Resistance Army.

Machine Gun Preacher

5 posted on 10/19/2011 6:42:37 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Kaslin
The outfit that calls itself The Lord's Resistance Army is described by every media source as evil. Can anybody find several neutral sources that give unbiased information on this group?

Sorry, I just don't trust the Obama administration for information regarding what purports to be a Muslim v. Christian conflict, even though I fully acknowledge that I know NOTHING about this LRA. I do know something about Muslims, so I'm a little wary of sending Americans to fight at their sides.

6 posted on 10/19/2011 6:55:56 AM PDT by July4 (Remember the price paid for your freedom.)
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To: Kaslin

who benefit from violent instability throughout the region — bad actors who encourage and seed LRA-style vicious anarchy.

Hummmm. Sounds like something taking shape around here.


7 posted on 10/19/2011 7:25:53 AM PDT by Bitsy
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To: July4
Rush defends The Lord's Resistance Army ...

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/limbaugh-defends-lords-resistance-army/

This article has links to other sources. This smells like Slick Willy's interference in Yugoslavia.

8 posted on 10/19/2011 7:29:02 AM PDT by shove_it (Just undo it!)
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To: July4

Refer to the link at post #5.

The LRA, by all accounts, is a brutal insurgency mostly well-known for child abductions (about 65,000 or so) and occasional massacres. Their leader, Joseph Kony, proclaims himself to the “Spokesperson of God” and a spirit medium.

They claim to be Christian, but if you look at their actions, there’s very little Christian about them. The LRA is also (allegedly) funded by the government in Khartoum.

Simply put, they’re bad news all around.


9 posted on 10/19/2011 7:56:25 AM PDT by AnAmericanAbroad (It's all bread and circuses for the future prey of the Morlocks.)
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To: Kaslin
From Wikipedia:Wikipedia:
In 2006, the United Nations mounted a covert operation to capture or kill Joseph Kony. A squad of U.S.-trained Guatemalan Special Ops soldiers set out into Congo's Garamba National Park, a longtime LRA refuge and the scene of the 2008–2009 Garamba offensive. Trained in jungle warfare and accustomed to surviving in the bush for long stretches, the Guatemalans were equipped with M-16s and the latest special-operations technology. Five LRA soldiers were killed and none of the Special Ops soldiers survived. According to one account, the commander of the Special Ops soldiers was beheaded. The battle, which lasted for several hours, included hand to hand combat. Reports put the U.N. dead at eight to forty. The LRA left the corpses in the jungle but took the weapons—including heavy machine guns and grenade launchers.
10 posted on 10/19/2011 8:10:54 AM PDT by Hiddigeigei ("Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish," said Dionysus - Euripides)
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To: July4
Sorry, I just don't trust the Obama administration for information regarding what purports to be a Muslim v. Christian conflict, even though I fully acknowledge that I know NOTHING about this LRA

Your skepticism is healthy and warranted. However, these are some of the very worst people on the most evil continent on the planet.

You won't find any unbiased (or informed) sources defending them. This is a group that needs to be cleansed from the face of the earth and it's leader, Joseph Kony, dispatched back to his homeland - hell.

11 posted on 10/19/2011 9:14:15 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Kaslin

Sorry, but it’s none of our damn business. Let Africans solve African problems.


12 posted on 10/19/2011 9:22:57 AM PDT by kenmcg (pROBLEM)
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To: Kaslin

“Look! Look over here! See the shiny spoon! You didn’t expect to see a shiny spoon, did you?”
“Where’s my wallet???? Where did the guy with the shiny spoon go???”


13 posted on 10/19/2011 10:40:35 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: shove_it

Refer to the link at post #5.

The LRA, by all accounts, is a brutal insurgency mostly well-known for child abductions (about 65,000 or so) and occasional massacres. Their leader, Joseph Kony, proclaims himself to the “Spokesperson of God” and a spirit medium.

They claim to be Christian, but if you look at their actions, there’s very little Christian about them. The LRA is also (allegedly) funded by the government in Khartoum.

They’re not Christian, they’re just a bunch of barbaric thugs. Rush was wrong, and he admitted it.


14 posted on 11/29/2011 8:41:53 PM PST by Jacob Kell (Osama/Obama the only difference is BS.)
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