Preparing for Peace: The AU Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA in Central Africa

"After more than 27 years of protracted atrocities instigated by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which has marauded and pillaged communities and abducted, maimed, displaced and killed civilians, the African Union (AU) regional cooperation strategy to mitigate the activities of the LRA can be viewed with optimism. Numerous initiatives over the decades have not brought the envisaged peace dividends, nor created conditions for the consolidation of negative and/or positive peace. Theatres of violence shift across state borders, leaving behind them deep scars of fear, underdevelopment, poverty and despondent communities. The current AU initiative is a flexible and original mechanism to promote collective security by pooling the resources and capacities of the countries of the region to address the LRA problem. The strategy is designed to be responsive to the dynamics and shifting needs of the conflict and enable the wished-for whole-of-society recovery. This brief provides a narrative of the status of the operationalisation of the strategy. It concludes with considerations of policy issues."