Monthly Brief: August 2016
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was responsible for 12 attacks in August 2016 in which they abducted 20 civilians. All 20 abductees escaped or were released within days of being abducted, in most cases after being used to porter looted goods. August was the second consecutive month of relatively low levels of LRA violence following spikes in activity in January, February, and June 2016.
LRA attacks on civilians, August 2016
LRA abductions concentrated in eastern CARLRA groups were responsible for eight attacks and 16 abductions in eastern Central African Republic (CAR) in August. Several attacks were clustered near Mboki in Haut Mbomou prefecture, including attacks on August 19th and 24th in which LRA combatants forced pastoralists to give them cows.
LRA groups also committed three attacks in CAR's Haute Kotto prefecture in August. During two of these attacks, on Yangou Waka (August 20) and Batahi (August 29th), LRA assailants occupied communities for several hours as they looted food and other items.
LRA violence against civilians, January–August 2016
Armed group activity in DRC near border with CAR and South SudanActivity by the LRA and other armed groups in Haut Uele and Bas Uele provinces in northeastern DRC was concentrated near the border with CAR and South Sudan. The Crisis Tracker recorded six attacks on civilians in this area between August 13th and August 28th, including four attributed to the LRA and two attributed to unidentified armed groups. In all of the attacks, the assailants looted civilians of food, clothes, money, or other items. In two incidents, August 22nd at Bilikwa and August 27th near Pasi, LRA forces temporarily abducted civilians to porter looted goods into the bush.
Participants in a workshop for local peace committees in eastern CAR
Protection workshop in Bria: Invisible Children hosted a week-long workshop in Bria, CAR, in August that brought together representatives from peace committees in Bria, Sam Ouandja, Ouadda, Bakouma, Nzako, and Yalinga. The workshop included technical training and the exchange of effective local programming aimed at improving community conflict mediation techniques, facilitating the defection of LRA combatants, and instituting locally-led community protection programming.
HF radio installation: Invisible Children installed an HF Radio in the community of Gbere, DRC, its first HF radio outside of the LRA's area of operation. Reporting from the radio will focus on monitoring wildlife trafficking, poaching, and other armed groups on the eastern side of Garamba National Park.
Wildlife trafficking reporting: Invisible Children collaborated with staff from Garamba National Park to develop new tools and methods to identify, analyze, and report information collected from Early Warning Network communities on incidents of poaching, wildlife trafficking, and suspected poaching groups.
New defection messages: Invisible Children's partner in northern Uganda, ANCHOR, collected defection messaging from escapees and family members of LRA combatants. IC then coordinated the broadcasting of those messages at its 11 partner FM stations. Here is an example of one of those messages:
I came out from ALIGACH’s group with .I want to greet you all and ask you to come home if you hear this message. Since I arrived home, things have been better. I am at school, very free and I have grown bigger than I was there. So if you want to consider your life as being important then you should think about coming home. I want to send a message to OCAN to come home. I came home with your children. You never had a chance to see your child, she is called , You should come home and see your daughter. You need to come home to take care of her, you might even die in the bush without meeting your own children. Your other older child with even though the mother was killed, that child is still here at home with the grand mother. Come home and help your parents with supporting these children. I know that whatever you are doing in the bush has no future. whoever is listening to me should compare how I used to live there and how I have progressed. you could also be free like me. I want the same message to go to LAMOLA, the mother of to come home or send the children home so that they can learn to read and write. You were taken away without any proper education so the children should be given the opportunity to be educated. is now in primary 2 and she is very bright. Please send all the children so that they can go to school.