Security Council Press Statement on the" Lord's Resistance Army"
(as read today by Security Council President Ambassador Peter Wittig)
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the ongoing attacks carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) across central Africa, which pose a continuing threat to regional security. They expressed their grave concern at the atrocities committed by the LRA, which have serious humanitarian consequences, including the displacement of over 380,000 people across the region.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern that the Council’s previous calls for the LRA to cease its attacks, halt the recruitment, abduction and use of children, and to release all women, children and non-combatants, have not been heeded.
The members of the Security Council demanded an end to all attacks on civilians by the LRA, and urged all LRA elements to surrender and disarm.
The members of the Security Council commended the important efforts that are being undertaken by the militaries of the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of South Sudan, and Uganda to address the threat posed by the LRA, and emphasized the importance of sustained coordinated action by these governments to bring an end to the LRA problem.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the leadership shown by the African Union in its recent initiative in proposing a range of activities, with a view to the implementation of a comprehensive strategy to tackle the threat posed by the LRA, which, beyond military operations also gives priority to the protection of civilians and Demobilization, Disarmament, Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration (DDRRR).
The members of the Security Council welcomed the information shared by Ambassador Téte António, the Permanent Observer of the AU to the UN, on the AU’s proposals for a regional task force, joint operations centre and joint co-ordination mechanism.
They looked forward to further detail on these proposals from the AU Commission as plans develop, and encouraged the Secretary-General to provide support to the AU Commission through the planning process.
The members also welcomed the decision by the AU to appoint a Special Envoy on the issue of the LRA, and encouraged the early appointment of the Envoy.
The members of the Security Council underlined the primary responsibility of States in the region to protect civilians and noted the need to build capacities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council noted at the same time the important role being played by UN peacekeeping missions in the region, and stressed the need for co-ordination amongst all those engaged in addressing the threat posed by the LRA.
They underlined the need for all action against the LRA to be conducted in compliance with applicable international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and the need to protect civilians.
The members of the Security Council encouraged all UN presences in the LRA-affected region to further enhance information-sharing and coordination with all relevant actors and undertake more regional assessments and programming, particularly with regard to the humanitarian response and the protection of civilians.
The members of the Security Council requested that the UN Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), in coordination with United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), engage with the AU and facilitate co-operation between the UN and the AU on issues related to countering the threat posed by the LRA. They requested that the Secretary-General provide further information on the UN’s regional strategic approach to counter the impact of the LRA.
The members of the Security Council recalled the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants for four LRA leaders on charges of, among other things, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and the enlistment of children through abduction, and encouraged all States to cooperate with the Ugandan authorities and the International Criminal Court in order to implement those warrants and to bring to justice those responsible for the atrocities.
The members encouraged LRA fighters to leave the group’s ranks and take advantage of offers of reintegration support. The members of the Security Council emphasized their support for continued efforts across the affected countries to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate former LRA fighters back into normal life.
The members recalled the Council’s statement of June 2006 (PRST/2006/28) and reaffirmed the vital importance of promoting justice and the rule of law, including respect for human rights, as an indispensible element for lasting peace.
The members of the Security Council requested that the Secretary-General keep them informed on developments in relation to the LRA, including through a report assessing the threat posed by the LRA, regional efforts to address that threat and its impact, and UN efforts in that context, to be submitted in October 2011.