Killings by the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, in 2012 fell to a new low since 2007. Abduction remains a calling card of the LRA, with 512 cases of kidnapping over the past year. Fresh statistics and valuable analysis about the dynamics of one of Africa's longest running insurgencies are captured in the LRA Crisis Tracker Annual Security Brief, produced by Resolve and Invisible Children and released this week.
The brief provides a summary and analysis of reported LRA activities in the tri-border region between the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. The brief is based on information gathered through the LRA Crisis Tracker, which provides real-time data tracking LRA activity and reporting harm to civilians as a result of LRA violence. Data was collected from NGO and U.N. reports, Invisible Children's field research, and high frequency early-warning radio networks in the region.
The annual security brief highlights six key trends of LRA activities in 2012, vividly demonstrating that the LRA's strength is on the decline. For example, the number of "major attacks" has significantly reduced with the exception of an area spreading north and east from Bangassou, CAR. In 2012, the LRA combatants killed a total of 51 civilians, down from 154 deaths in 2011 and 706 deaths in 2010. Additionally, during the past year, the reported incidents of violence were higher during the first six months of 2012 and then tapered off in the latter half of the year due to seasonal precipitation and agricultural patterns. While the downward trend over the course of the year might be optimistically seen as indicative of a positive, ongoing trend, the seasonal nature of attacks means that some analysts are concerned about an uptick in the early months of this year.
In 2012, 31 Ugandans defected from the LRA, ...[view whole blog post ]