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UN should do more to end LRA menace

By Vision Reporter

Added 31st August 2009 03:00 AM

THE United Nations (UN) is considering revising the mandate of its peacekeeping forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan so that they can join the hunt for LRA leader Joseph Kony, according to Susana Malcorra, the UN Under-Secretary G

THE United Nations (UN) is considering revising the mandate of its peacekeeping forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan so that they can join the hunt for LRA leader Joseph Kony, according to Susana Malcorra, the UN Under-Secretary G

THE United Nations (UN) is considering revising the mandate of its peacekeeping forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan so that they can join the hunt for LRA leader Joseph Kony, according to Susana Malcorra, the UN Under-Secretary General for field support on peacekeeping operations.

Speaking during a visit to Kampala, Malcorra, said the UN is deeply concerned over the activities of the LRA in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan. But the existing two UN peace-keeping missions in the region — the UN Peacekeeping Mission in DR Congo (MONUC) and the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), have no mandate to deal with the LRA nuisance.

Fugitive Joseph Kony and his LRA are clearly criminals without any political agenda or mission. Since the LRA renegades fled to the Garamba Forest Reserve in the eastern Congo, they have been on the rampage, killing innocent civilians, looting and destroying property. The indiscriminate attacks on civilians by the LRA have uprooted more than 125,000 people in the last three weeks, according to the UN refugee agency. Since the start of this year, 360,000 Congolese have been uprooted in successive LRA attacks in Congo’s Orientale Province, while the 20,000 others have fled to Sudan and Central African Republic. The rebels reportedly have bases in all three countries.

This is a serious situation that warrants quick action. It is true that the UN has provided some humanitarian support. But it is disappointing that the UN’s support towards crushing the LRA and bringing to justice Kony has not been substantial or visible. The three countries — Uganda, Congo and Sudan have demonstrated their resolve to jointly crush the LRA. They have only been constrained by lack of logistics and resources. Kony and his top lieutenants are wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity. Therefore, the UN has an obligation to support materially and financially the regional efforts to stop the LRA menace.

UN should do more to end LRA menace

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