Addis Ababa, 29 November 2013: Since the launch of its “Operation Monsoon” against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), on 9 August 2013, the Regional Task Force (RTF) of the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA (RCI-LRA) has continued to exert sustained pressure on the LRA in the Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and parts of South Sudan. On 28 November 2013, the RTF scored a major success against the LRA, by destroying one of its key camps located in the CAR.
Due to this military pressure, all the LRA top leaders are now on the run, as the RTF troops robustly pursue them. Consequently, attacks and abductions by LRA have significantly reduced, while the safety and security of civilians, as well as the overall humanitarian situation, have improved. At the same time, the AU continues its diplomatic efforts to further galvanize international support for the RCI-LRA, strengthen regional cooperation, and improve cross-border coordination.
The RTF is the military component of the AU-led RCI-LRA. The RCI-LRA was authorized by the AU Peace and Security Council, on 22 November 2011, to strengthen the operational capabilities of the affected states to eliminate the LRA, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected areas, and create conditions conducive for the stabilization of the affected areas. The PSC has also declared LRA a terrorist group.
The Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the progress being made by the RTF, and reiterates her appreciation to the countries involved in the RCI-LRA, as well as to the AU partners for their continued support in this endeavor.