Today, the Enough Project joined a coalition of organizations from central Africa, the U.S., and Europe in releasing a report that assesses the implementation of the U.N. Regional Strategy developed in June to address the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, threat. Nearly six months later, progress to date in implementing the strategy has been minimal, and no clear plans to address the myriad challenges facing the strategy appear to be underway.
The U.N. strategy is comprehensive, encompassing a wide range of critical objectives: enhance regional efforts to apprehend the LRA's top leaders and protect civilians; encourage LRA rebels to defect; improve the humanitarian response to LRA violence; and promote peacebuilding, human rights, and development in LRA-affected areas. If implemented fully, the strategy could be instrumental in finally and sustainably ending the 25-year-old conflict.
However, progress thus far in implementation has been very limited and slow, and the U.N. has not developed a plan to implement the strategy in its entirety.
There are several impediments that need to be addressed if the strategy is to succeed. These include: the lack of political commitment on the part of the governments of LRA-affected countries; an insufficient number of troops for arresting the LRA's senior commanders and protecting civilians; the fact that there are no soldiers in many of the areas where the group operates; inadequate real-time intelligence about the LRA; and confusion about who in the LRA will be criminally prosecuted, which is stymying initiatives to promote defections. The strategy is truly at risk of failing, if these and other problems are not resolved.[view whole blog post ]