Mary Stata writes in Third Way Cafe about the conflict between the governments of South Sudan, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the rebel movement known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA):
On December 14 armies from Uganda, southern Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) launched a joint offensive aimed at defeating the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA is a rebel movement that has wreaked havoc in northern Uganda since the 1980s. In recent years, the rebel forces scattered throughout the region into southern Sudan and eastern DRC.
The LRA is notorious for enlisting child soldiers, mutilating victims (cutting off lips is a trademark), and indiscriminately raping women and girls. The international community has made several attempts to get LRA commander Joseph Kony to surrender. In November, Kony failed to sign the most recent peace agreement.
Since mid-December, LRA rebels have killed at least 500 civilians and abducted 200 children in retaliation to the joint offensive. These attacks have prompted thousands of civilians to flee their homes.
Even though this joint offensive aims at defeating the LRA and Joseph Kony once and for all, civilians are suffering. So far the joint offensive has not captured Kony, rescued child soldiers, or tempted rebel leaders to sign a peace deal. Children are being kidnapped and held hostage by the rebels. Villages are being methodically raided and burned. Rape is being used as a weapon to terrorize and destroy the social structures of communities.
The full article is available at thirdway.com.