Security Council: Statement by the President of the Security Council on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
(Presidential Statement on the Lord's Resistance Army as read out by the President of the Security Council)
The Security Council strongly condemns the ongoing attacks carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in parts of central Africa, which pose a continuing threat to regional security. The Council reiterates its grave concern at the atrocities committed by the LRA, which have serious humanitarian and human rights consequences, including the displacement of over 445,000 people across the region.
“The Security Council strongly condemns the continued violations of international humanitarian law and the abuses of human rights by the LRA. The Security Council condemns further the recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape, sexual slavery and other sexual violence, and abductions. The Council demands an immediate end to all attacks by the LRA, particularly those on civilians, urges LRA leaders to release all those abducted, and insists that all LRA elements put an end to such practices, and disarm and demobilise.
“The Security Council welcomes the development of the UN Regional Strategy to Address the Threat and Impact of the Activities of the LRA and takes note of the five strategic areas of intervention identified in the strategy, developed in close collaboration with the AU, UN missions and country teams in the LRA-affected areas, and affected Central African States. The Council urges United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the UN political and peacekeeping missions in the region and other relevant UN presences to support the implementation of the strategy, as appropriate and within the limits of their mandates and capacities, and calls on the international community to provide assistance as possible to advance these strategic goals.
“The Security Council welcomes the strong collaboration between the UN and the AU in addressing the LRA threat, and encourages its continuation. The Council encourages the African Union (AU)’s Special Envoy Francisco Madeira and the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Central Africa and Head of UNOCA Abou Moussa to continue to work together with the governments of the region to strengthen further their cooperation.
“The Security Council commends the continued efforts undertaken by the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of South Sudan and Uganda to apprehend top LRA commanders and to protect civilians from the LRA threat. The Council welcomes the capture of the senior LRA commander Caesar Acellam by the Uganda People’s Defence Force on 13 May.
The Security Council welcomes the official launching of the African Union-led Regional Cooperation Initiative (AU RCI-LRA) against the LRA on 24 March 2012, including a Joint Coordination Mechanism, a Regional Task Force and a Joint Operations Centre. The Council encourages all governments in the region, working through this Initiative, to renew and strengthen their collaboration to end the LRA threat. The Council also calls on the AU, the LRA-affected states and the international community to work together to secure the necessary resources for successful implementation. The Council welcomes the AU’s ongoing efforts to increase tactical coordination, information-sharing, and joint planning between the relevant militaries through the Regional Task Force, based in Yambio, South Sudan.
“The Security Council underlines the primary responsibility of States in the LRA-affected region to protect civilians and calls upon them to take all appropriate measures in this regard. The Council notes the important role being played by UN peacekeeping missions in the region in protecting civilians and stresses the need for continued coordination and information sharing between these missions. The Council stresses the importance of coordination among humanitarian, development, gender, child protection, peacekeeping and military actors in the region. The Council recognises the challenges the Governments in the region face and urges the international community, in coordination with the AU and the UN, to continue to strengthen the operational capabilities of countries participating in the regional taskforce initiative in order to conduct effective operations against LRA and better protect civilians. The Council underlines the need for all military action against the LRA to be conducted in compliance with applicable international law, including international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, and to minimise the risk of harm to civilians in those areas.
“The Security Council encourages the remaining LRA fighters to leave the group’s ranks and participate in the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration (DDRRR) process. The Security Council emphasises its support for continued efforts across the affected countries to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate former LRA fighters back into normal life. The Council acknowledges the important ongoing efforts under MONUSCO’s DDRRR programme to encourage and facilitate further LRA defections. The Council urges MONUSCO to continue to work with BINUCA, UNMISS, and other UN actors in the LRA-affected region to help implement a coordinated region-wide effort to promote defections and support the DDRRR efforts across the LRA-affected area. The Council calls on international partners to provide strategic support.
“The Security Council recalls the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and two other senior LRA leaders on charges of, inter alia, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and the enlistment of children through abduction, and calls upon 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 Council recalls its statement of June 2006 (PRST/2006/28) and reaffirms the vital importance of promoting justice and the rule of law, including respect for human rights, as an indispensible element for lasting peace.
"The Security Council commends efforts by international donors to provide humanitarian assistance to LRA-affected populations in CAR, DRC and the Republic of South Sudan. The Council reiterates the need for an enhanced, comprehensive, and more regional approach to the humanitarian situation, including assistance to victims of sexual violence and other attacks and reaffirms the requirement for all parties to promote and ensure safe and unhindered access for humanitarian organisations to the civilian population, in accordance with international law, including applicable international humanitarian law, and guiding principles of humanitarian assistance
"The Security Council requests that the Secretary-General keep it informed on the activities of UNOCA, the progress of implementation of the Regional Strategy and the efforts being undertaken respectively by missions in the region and other relevant UN agencies to that end, including through a single report on UNOCA and the LRA to be submitted before 30 November 2012.