The Never-Ending Pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army: An Analysis of the Regional Cooperative Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA

“There has recently been heightened concern regarding the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), one of the most deadly insurgent movements in Africa. The LRA can best be described as a quasireligious-rebel armed group that began operating in the Acholi region of northern Uganda in 1986, but has now grown into a regional concern due to its expanded activities in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. In response to the activities of the group, the Africa Union (AU), the United States of America (USA) government and the members of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) have jointly decided to address the growing threat that the LRA poses to regional peace and security. Supported by the international community, these actors formed an international military force to eliminate the LRA and its leader, Joseph Kony. Questions have been raised as to whether the response by the international community is commensurate with the threat posed. This Policy & Practice Brief provides a reflective analysis of the existence of the LRA, exploring why the capture of LRA members has been elusive. It critiques current approaches employed to defeat the LRA and makes recommendations on how the proposed pursuit of the movement can be strengthened to increase chances of success. It also emphasises the relevance of the historical underpinnings and legacy of the LRA’s cause, including the regional and international dynamics that inform the involvement of various actors towards ending and resolving the LRA dispute.”