Central Africa: American military advisors to help against the LRA
|Publisher||Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)|
|Publication Date||21 October 2011|
|Cite as||Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Central Africa: American military advisors to help against the LRA, 21 October 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ea1474a2.html [accessed 19 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The American government will send 100 troops to Central Africa to support efforts to combat the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The rebel group originated in Uganda and has been active in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and South Sudan. It has raped and killed thousands of civilians, abducted children for use as child soldiers, and caused the displacement of almost 400,000 people (see LRA Tracker for the latest information on LRA attacks).
US troops will be not engage in direct combat; their main task will be to advise the armed forces of the affected countries on how to kill or capture the LRA leadership. The top commanders of the LRA, including Joseph Kony, have been sought since 2005 by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in northern Uganda.
The decision to send troops follows the signing in May 2010 of the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which requires the USA to develop a strategy to protect civilians from LRA attacks, take steps to end the rebels' violence, and increase humanitarian assistance to affected countries. The African Union (AU) has also taken steps to combat the LRA. In June 2011, defense ministers of CAR, DRC, South Sudan, and Uganda agreed to deploy a joint military force to end LRA atrocities, to be managed by the AU. The four countries will contribute troops.