UN Security Council approves joint UN/AU LRA strategy
Over the past two weeks I’ve had the enormous privilege of working with two civil society leaders, Father Benoit Kinalegu and Sister Angelique Namaika, who came here from Congo to speak on behalf of their communities who are suffering from LRA violence. I’ve joined them on a whirlwind series of events focused on the LRA that’s ranged from testifying before Congress to meetings at the UN Security Council. We ended our stay in NY by doing a joint press conference with Abou Moussa, the lead UN official on the LRA, and Ambassador Francisco Madeira, the African Union’s LRA envoy.
Last Friday, following the press conference, Moussa and Madeira briefed the UN Security Council on the LRA crisis. It was the first UN Security Council briefing dedicated to the LRA since November 2011, and only the second in the last three years. At the briefing, Moussa and Madeira presented the first-ever joint UN/AU LRA strategy. Following the briefing, the Security Council gave its stamp of approval to the joint strategy and issued a presidential statement condemning LRA atrocities and calling for swift implementation of the strategy.
The joint strategy includes five primary goals, outlined below. Stay tuned later this week as we examine the key challenges the UN and AU will face in putting the strategy into action.
5 goals of the joint UN/AU LRA strategy
o Support for the African Union’s Regional Cooperation Initiative (AU-RCI) against the LRA, an AU-authorized mission tasked with coordinating the AU’s intelligence, military, and political responses to the LRA;
o Enhance civilian protection efforts, including better cross-border information sharing on LRA activities and ensuring military operations against the LRA minimize the risk to civilian populations and abductees;
o Expand support for Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation, Reintegration, and Reconciliation (DDRRR) initiatives to promote defection and help former combatants reintegrate peacefully into society;
o Strengthen and coordinate humanitarian assistance and child protection responses to help mitigate the devastating toll the conflict has had on civilian communities across the region;
o Support economic development, good governance, peacebuilding, and human rights to help root out the conditions of poverty and marginalization that give rise to and allow groups like the LRA to persist.