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Addis Ababa, 23 November 2011: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU, Jean Ping, today, appointed Mr. Francisco Caetano José Madeira, Special Representative in charge of Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and Director of the Algiers-based African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), as his Special Envoy on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Issue. Mr. Madeira will assume this responsibility concurrently with his current functions

Today’s decision is part of the implementation of the AU-led Regional Cooperation Initiative against the LRA (RCI-LRA). This Initiative was launched with the aim of bringing to an end the destabilizing activities and atrocities committed by the LRA.  In recent years, this group has extended its activities, moving from Uganda, where it originally started its attacks, to South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR). The LRA has continued  to  carry  out  atrocities  against  innocent  civilians,  in  particular  children and women,  including  abduction,  murder,  mutilation,  burning  and  looting  of  villages,  and wanton  destruction  of  livelihoods,  resulting  in  massive  displacements  and  an  acute humanitarian crisis.
 
At its meeting held on 22 November 2011, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU authorized  the  implementation  of  the  RCI-LRA,  including  the  establishment  of  the  key components of the Initiative, namely: the Joint Coordination Mechanism (JCM), comprising the Ministers of Defense of the affected countries and chaired by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, to be based in Bangui, CAR; the Regional Task Force (RTF), made up of units  provided  by  the  affected  countries;  and  the  Joint Operations  Centre  (JOC), which  is part  of  the  RTF  Headquarters  in  Yambio, South  Sudan.
  The PSC, which stressed that the protection of civilians will be mainstreamed into all the planned operations, also declared the LRA a terrorist group, in accordance with the relevant AU instruments.  
 
In his capacity as Special Envoy, Mr. Madeira  will,  in  consultation  with  the  affected countries, provide overall political and  strategic  coordination of  the operation  against  the LRA.  He will  also  assist  in mobilizing  assistance  for  the  victims  of  the  LRA  atrocities,  the rebuilding  of  shattered  communities  and  the  rehabilitation  of  the  affected  areas. He will interact with all AU bilateral and multilateral partners contributing to the efforts aimed at bringing to an end the atrocities of the LRA.   
 Mr. Madeira, who hails from Mozambique, has served as Ambassador in several African countries, as well as a Presidential Diplomatic Advisor and Minister in the President’s Office.
He has also assisted former President Joaquim Chissano, then UN Special Envoy for the LRA-affected areas, in the discharge of his mandate. Mr. Madeira will bring his counter-terrorism expertise to bear on the efforts aimed at putting an end to the criminal activities of the LRA.    
The appointment of Mr. Madeira is made on an interim basis, pending the conclusion of the ongoing  consultations  with  the  countries  concerned  regarding  the  appointment  of  the substantive Special Envoy.

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Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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