The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions has called on Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan to develop a strong regional military strategy to deal with the Lord's Resistance Army. The Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston, in a public report to the UN Human Rights Council says the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) remains a big problem for the region. Alston says that during his visit to the DRC the government there told him it had effectively removed the LRA from the country. He says he found this was not the case and the Uganda rebel force is still a major cause of violence. According to the report, at least 400 have been killed by the LRA in the past 12 months and hundreds have been abducted or had their lips or ears chopped off. This level of violence is similar to the LRA's past actions in Northern Uganda. Alston says he is concerned that the atrocities by the LRA are not receiving the urgent attention that is required. He calls on the international community and especially the countries in which the LRA continues to operate to develop a strong regional military strategy to deal with the LRA. A battalion of the Uganda People's Defence Forces is based in border areas of the Sudan, the DRC and the Central African Republic. It has been there for more than a year, tracking the LRA and ensuring it doesn't mobilize enough to make another attack on Uganda. The actions of the army are criticized by international NGOs in the region, who say the soldiers are too few to protect civilians in the vast region in which the LRA operates. The armies of the DRC, Sudan and the Central African Republic are also accused of not cooperating fully with the Ugandan army to fight the rebels.
Updated: 14 Dec, 16:2716:27