The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was responsible for ten attacks in July 2016 in which they abducted 12 civilians, the lowest mont


Monthly Brief: July 2016
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was responsible for ten attacks in July 2016 in which they abducted 12 civilians, the lowest monthly abduction total so far in 2016. Attacks by unidentified armed groups in LRA-affected areas rose for the second consecutive month, with a total of 15 attacks in July. LRA defectors reported additional evidence that the rebel group is seeking to abduct young boys and put them through military training.
LRA attacks on civilians, July 2016


Attacks on civilians concentrated west of Garamba National Park
There were a total of 12 attacks on civilians in LRA-affected areas of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in July 2016, six by LRA forces and six attributed to unidentified armed forces. Seven of the 12 attacks took place in the Bangadi-Ngilima-Niangara triangle west of Garamba National Park, with another taking place in nearby Kpaika.

The most notable LRA abduction in DRC took place on July 18, when an LRA group ambushed a motorcyclist carrying a woman and two children. The LRA combatants forced the motorcyclists to travel to the town of Bamangana to buy boots and batteries for handheld FM radio receivers while they held the women and two children hostage. The three hostages were released the next day after the motorcyclists returned with the requested items. 
LRA violence against civilians, JanuaryJuly 2016


Attacks in eastern CAR target young boys, travelers along roads
The Crisis Tracker recorded seven attacks in LRA-affected areas of eastern Central African Republic (CAR) by unidentified armed groups in July 2016. Six of these attacks took place along the RafaiObo road, including the ambush of vehicles and travelers along the road on July 2, July 7, and July 18. In comparison, only four LRA attacks were recorded in eastern CAR in July 2016, only the second month of the year in which they were outnumbered by unidentified armed group attacks. The LRA attacks included the July 8 looting of the mining camp near Karmadar, which followed two LRA attacks there in late June.

A Central African boy who was abducted in June 2016 and escaped several weeks later testified that his LRA group had orders to abduct and train young boys. He also reported that LRA commanders cut recently abducted boys with razors and put substances into the wounds, a ritual historically used as part of the initiation process into the group. His testimony constitutes further evidence of a recent trend in LRA recruitment, though it remains unclear how much is driven by orders from Joseph Kony versus actions by the rogue LRA group led by Achaye Doctor.  

In Bangui, the fate of Ugandan LRA defector Opiyo Sam remains uncertain. Opiyo was detained shortly after his defection in April 2016 in Mbomou prefecture and later transferred to a prison in Bangui. He was then transferred to the care of a local religious organization after his health deteriorated considerably. Central African authorities have yet to confirm whether he will be repatriated to Uganda or continue to be detained in Bangui and eventually face a trial.  
Attacks on civilians by unidentified armed groups, July 2016


Programmatic Updates
Invisible Children and our community partners in DRC continue to expand and refine Early Warning Network information collection related to illicit wildlife poaching and trafficking in DRC and CAR. A joint workshop between wildlife protection experts and EWN staff was held in Dungu, DRC, to outline data needs, assess the impact of collecting this information on communities, and to outline next steps in expanding community level information collection on wildlife poaching activity.

Invisible Children, with support of partners, also completed the repair of the Sam Ouandja FM radio in Haute Kotto, CAR. The radio is now functional and broadcasting daily defection messaging targeting LRA members. Community Defection Committees in DRC also continue to produce local defection messaging for dissemination on the Dungu
Duru road and FaradjeDjabir road. 
Visit the LRA Crisis Tracker to view our interactive map and learn more about how we collect, vet, and analyze data. Please contact Sean Poole - & Paul Ronan - with any comments or questions.