In a rather spectacular joint military offensive, Ugandan, Congolese and Southern Sudanese armed forces raided a Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) base in Congo’s Garamba National Forest last night. The BBC, Voice of America, and AFP have more.
The LRA is a despicable rebel movement responsible for terrorizing the civilian population of northern Uganda for close to two decades. Mutilation and the use of child soldiers were its two signature characteristics. (Read this post about a person trying to make things right in Northern Uganda). In recent years, fighting largely subsided as the LRA became militarily weakened. A peace process, though, has been stymied multiple times as the LRA’s brutal leader, Joseph Kony, refused to enter negotiations in good faith. In fact, the LRA has stepped up its offensive against children over the past few months, this time in neighboring Southern Sudan and DR Congo.
This is one of those instances where intransigence can and should be met with military force. John Prendergast of the Enough Campaign agrees. In an emailed statement he says
“The extensive efforts to encourage Joseph Kony to sign a peace deal were unsuccessful.A military strike was actually long overdue, to build leverage for peace or even to apprehend Kony and execute the arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court. This operation is the first step in a more realistic strategy to end the LRA threat.
There is no word yet on the fate of Joseph Kony. I am hoping they nabbed him. He deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
(image of Joseph Kony from flickr user Joram Jojo under a Creative Commons license)