The African Union has announced its decision Tuesday to classify the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an armed group founded in northern Uganda that now operates in an area between Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan as a terrorist group.
“The Council for Peace and Security of the African Union – said Ramtane Lamamra Ababa, in charge of this organization – has decided to declare the LRA a terrorist group and asked the UN Security Council to do the same.”
According to Lamamra, African countries must now apply the laws “that prevent the LRA activities in their territory” and “render any individual who assists the group in any way as liable”.
The decision was announced after a meeting in Addis Ababa a few weeks following the deployment of hundreds of US soldiers to assist the Ugandan government in the fight against the LRA. “The support of the United States – said Lamamra – is in line with our appeal to international partners to help us strengthen and support the capacities of our countries in fighting the LRA.”
As for the commander in chief of the group, the Ugandan Joseph Kony, the ICC has issued an arrest warrant in 2005 for war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to the American non-governmental organization “Resolve”, since the end of 2009 alone, the LRA has been responsible for killing 944 civilians and kidnapping 1723.