AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "Is there a real political will to defeat the LRA?" asks the Bishop of Bossangoa

Thursday, 28 January 2016 armed groups  

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "The LRA rebels continue to enslave villagers, making them load carriers and sex slavesand they are also burning down villages", says His Exc. Mgr. Nestor Desire Nongo-Aziagbia, Bishop Bossangoa in the Central African Republic. According to the Bishop, the Lord's Resistance Army-LRA has once again become a major threat to peace not only in Central Africa but also in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan. The last attack was reported on 21 January, when some members of the LRA attacked St. Andrew parish in Bakouma in the southeast of the Central African Republic (see Fides 25/01/2016).
Born over 30 years ago in northern Uganda, the group has extended over time its activities in these Countries. Although there have not been any more attacks in Uganda, Sheikh Musa Khalil, vice president of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative, a local organization dedicated to reconciliation within the Acholi community, states that " the group is still holding our children who it abducted. A resurgence complicates their return".
One of the LRA leaders, Dominic Ongwen, is on trial at the International Criminal Court, while Ugandan and American special forces are deployed in Central Africa to hunt the LRA leader, Joseph Kony. According to Mgr. Nongo-Aziagbia, however, "our concern is that there is no political will to defeat the rebels". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/01/2016)