Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) forces abducted 94 civilians in 38 attacks in Quarter 3 2016 (Q3 2016), covering the months of July–September 2016.
Q3 levels of abductions and attacks were significantly lower than those in Q1 and Q2.
Within Q3, September was the most violent month of LRA activity, with nearly double the number of abductions (61) as July and August combined (33).
The Crisis Tracker recorded 29 attacks on civilians by unidentified armed groups in LRA-affected areas of eastern Central African Republic (CAR) and northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Q3 2016.
The Q3 figure represented a slight increase from the number of attacks by unidentified armed groups in Q1 (25) and Q2 (23).
In Q3, LRA groups continued a trend of targeting civilians in the Rafai_–Djemah–Obo triangle.
67% of LRA attacks and 73% of LRA abductions in eastern CAR in Q2–_Q3 of 2016 took place in this area, compared to Q1, when a vast majority of attacks and abductions took place further west and north in CAR.
In Q3, LRA attacks were particularly concentrated southwest of Djemah near the village of Derbissaka, where LRA forces abducted ten civilians on August 8th and another ten civilians onSeptember 3rd.
A splinter LRA group led by Achaye Doctor is likely responsible for some of the attacks in the Rafai–Djemah–Obo triangle, while others have been committed by commanders loyal to LRA leader Joseph Kony.
The trend of concentrated LRA activity in this area, regardless of which commanders conduct the attacks, raises concerns about insufficient civilian protection mechanisms, particularly with Ugandan troops reportedly scheduled to withdraw from eastern CAR by the end of 2016.
Attacks by unidentified armed groups were more scattered in eastern CAR in Q3, including a cluster of four attacks near Yalinga (Haute Kotto prefecture) from September 4_–_16.
Unidentified armed groups were responsible for a total of 14 attacks in Haut Mbomou, Haute Kotto, and Mbomou prefectures in Q3, compared to nine in Q1 and seven in Q2.
LRA forces abducted 45 people in 17 attacks in DRC in Q3, a reduction from Q2 and return to levels seen in Q1.
Only one LRA attack was recorded near Garamba National Park in Q3, an incident on July 11th in which LRA forces interrogated a women about the presence of security forces near the town of Kpaika.
Reports also indicate that an LRA group left Garamba Park in mid-2016 to deliver poached ivory to Joseph Kony’ group, which operates near the border between CAR and Sudan.
The most notable LRA returnee incident in Q3 took place west of Bangadi on September 5th, when LRA commander Alphonse Lamola released four women and three children who had been held in long-term captivity by the rebel group.
The women reported they were released on orders given by Kony. The release took place just 40km northwest of an incident on June 9th in which an LRA group intentionally released 12 women and children from long-term captivity, including several women who were “widows” to deceased LRA fighters.
In Q4 2015, LRA activity in CAR was concentrated in Haute Kotto prefecture, where LRA forces abducted 33 people in 15 attacks, primarily between the towns of Sam Ouandja and Mbangana.
In DRC, LRA forces abducted an average of 47 people in Q4 from 2011_–_2015, the lowest quarterly average, though trends have varied considerably in each year.
In Q4 2014, LRA attacks were concentrated near Garamba National Park and conducted by a group on a mission to collect ivory.
In Q4 2015, LRA abductions were concentrated further west in Bas Uele province and included the forcible recruitment of young boys by the Achaye Doctor splinter group.
In Q4 2016, Congolese communities will face not only LRA attacks but continued spillover from the conflict in South Sudan’s Equatoria region.
LRA Crisis Tracker Security Brief | 2016 Quarter 3
REPORT from Invisible Children Published on 24 Oct 2016
Published by ReliefWeb