By Raymond Baguma
THE continued presence of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Central African Republic (CAR) poses a serious threat to peace and stability in the country.
This is according to a joint report by the African Union, UN, EU, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN). The report is a result of a joint assessment of the security sector reforms in CAR carried out between May 18th and 24 this year.
The report released last week, analyzed the security situation in CAR and made recommendations for ending the instability to both CAR political leadership and international partners.
It revealed that although the LRA numbers are estimated to be fewer than 250 fighters, the group continues to carry out extra-judicial killings, looting, destruction of property and human rights violations alongside groups like Seleka, and the anti-Baraka forces.
According to the report, the CAR army cannot deal with the threat posed by the LRA rebels, whose leader Joseph Kony is indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.
According to recent reports from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), during the first quarter of 2014, LRA rebels carried out 65 attacks in CAR, resulting in 93 abductions and two deaths.
Besides terrorizing local populations, LRA has also entertained relationships with some key armed groups in CAR such as the Seleka. This has complicated operations of the AU led regional force, the report notes.
Also, the report talks of the collaboration by LRA with the Seleka rebel, which has further complicated the operations of the African Union Regional Taskforce led by Uganda. Recently, UPDF troops clashed with Seleka rebels near Nzako, in CAR.
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LRA poses threat to peace in CAR – report