Resolve + Invisible Children release the first LRA Crisis Tracker Annual Security Brief
Resolve and Invisible Children today released our first-ever LRA Crisis Tracker Annual Security Brief (French version available here). Based on data collected throughout the year from NGO and UN reports, field research, and HF early-warning radio networks, the report reviews LRA activity during 2011 in the tri-border region between DR Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR).
It’s full of detailed analysis on LRA activity, but we’d like to point out a few highlights here. In 2011, there were 284 reported LRA attacks (that’s more than 5 per week), during which LRA forces reportedly killed 144 civilians and abducted 595 others. 426 people reportedly escaped from the LRA in 2011, and there were even net losses in LRA recruitment (more people escaped than were abducted) in July, November, and December of 2011.
Our data show several interesting trends in LRA activity. First, there were significant reductions in attacks, killings, and abductions in 2011 compared to 2010: LRA killings dropped by 75.8%, abductions by 47.3%, and attacks by 32.4%. Second, LRA violence decreased over the course of 2011 itself: the vast majority of the LRA’s attacks were in the first half of the year, and killings dropped by 83.9% in the second half of the year. Third, over 75% of LRA attacks in 2011occurred in Congo, far away from where LRA leader Joseph Kony and many of his top commanders were believed to be operating.
Though attacks levels have decreased, it’s clear that the LRA remains a dangerous threat to civilians across this region. Furthermore, we can’t assume the LRA is weakening or losing its capacity to commit atrocities. Reducing violence could be an intentional move by the LRA to evade international attention, a strategy they’ve employed before. Interestingly, reports indicate that between July and September of 2011 Kony summoned LRA commanders in Congo to a rendezvous in CAR, a period which roughly corresponds with when LRA attacks began to decrease in 2011.
Be sure to regularly check out the Crisis Tracker, our online crisis mapping platform and data collection system, for real-time updates about LRA attacks. The interactive map and site have lots more information about these and other LRA incidents, including media reports, statistics, and other briefings analyzing trends. You can also follow our tweets and download the free iPhone app to stay up-to-date on the latest LRA activity