What is the Lord's Resistance Army?
Members of the Lord's Resistance Army stand guard in November 2008.
October 14th, 2011
03:17 PM ET

What is the Lord's Resistance Army?

The Lord's Resistance Army, formed in the late 1980s, is a sectarian military and religious group that operates in northern Uganda and South Sudan. It has committed numerous abuses and atrocities such as abducting, raping, maiming and killing civilians, including women and children, according to globalsecurity.org. Its members are known for hacking off the lips and ears of their victims, looting villages and burning huts, and stealing clothes and medicine from the communities they terrorize, CNN has reported.

On Friday, President Barack Obama announced that he is sending about 100 U.S. troops to Africa to help hunt down the group's leaders.

The Lord's Resistance Army has sought to overthrow the Ugandan government and has contributed to instability across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

It is led by Joseph Kony, who professes to have spiritual powers. He is often "underrated" as a leader, according to a 2011 Jane's report on the group. Kony has claimed to be possessed by spirits who dictate the group's strategy. Jane's notes that the tactic has served him well, enabling him to speak to followers who have mixed beliefs. By portraying himself as a medium with supernatural abilities, his authority becomes harder to question within the ranks.

U.S. military personnel will advise regional forces working to target Kony and other senior leaders. The president said the troops will not engage Kony's forces "unless necessary for self-defense."

The Lord's Resistance Army is sophisticated and less like the ragtag group of fighters it is sometimes portrayed as, Jane's says. It has benefited from the military experience of former Ugandan military officers and years of combat in Sudan.

International aid convoys and non-government organizations operating in the region have been threatened by the Lord's Resistance Army, according to numerous reports. Human Rights Watch, in a letter released in May, urged the U.S. government to step up its effort to protect people from the group.

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Filed under: Africa • Democratic Republic of Congo • South Sudan • Uganda • World
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. E!=MC2

    Mr. E=MC2 when did he criticize Afganistan war?

    October 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. betty joe

    yeah. they do all look the same. plus why should we care what 1 of them does to another 1 of them. it will just be 1 less in the welfare line.

    October 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stuart

      Your parents should have been sterilized so that non-racist, non-bigoted, non-hating people of this world don't have to endure such classless opinions as yours.

      October 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Phil

      Learn some geography d0rk. Uganda is not in the U.S. It is in Africa. Africa is a different continent than North America. DOH!

      October 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Noe

      Betty Joe, where did you learn your racism from? Not very sophisticated. In fact it is downright low class. Make sure you wash your sheets before the next KKK meeting. They may be still dirty from your last cross burning.

      October 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sam

    Texans are mexican lovers and illegal immigrant lovers. That is why none of us will vote for your texas sisssy Perry.

    October 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Take Note

      Sam, your uncontrollable prejudice and discrimination is showing well these days, so why don't you just get your hillbilly, white trash rear in motion and hightail it out of the woods where you've lived since the middle ages, bubba!

      October 15, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    We need to use all of our Allies in theis, when will the IDF troops start showing up in Africa

    October 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ho Ta

    Sending 250,000 young man and woman to Iraq for oil by hugs is OK but sending 100 advisors for sake of humanity is so bad.come on people. At last we have a president that has a heart in his chest.good for him

    October 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stuart

      Amen brother. Well said.

      October 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tim

    Please tell me how the Iraq war was justified? Shady intel trying to connect the dots to Afghanistan when it was clear Sadaam and Al Queda leaders could not stand each other. Everyone seems to forget the real reason why Sadaam acted the way he did, he was having an issue with his neighbor Iran. So of course he didn't want to show his military hand. I am not obsolving the guy for what he did and the way he ruled but we seem to forget he was "our" guy in the early 80s. And for those of you who don't get it, Somalia is still an issue. We have to make sure this group doesn't start to branch out to other extremist groups on the continent.

    October 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why Do We Care

      Total giberish unrelated to this issue... American troops have no place in the jungles of Africa, they have been having tribal wars and killing each other for several thousand years. If Obama wants to do something productive then help take out the Mexican Drug Lords, they actually do kill Americans.

      October 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stuart

    As a gay person I like many many weeenies.

    October 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stuart

    Why dont they send the lesbian and sissy occupy wall street protesters over there to teack them kindness and understanding of fellowman.

    October 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      It won't work. The Lord's Liberation Army is christian and they don't listen to reason.

      October 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • collins61

      Yeah, Christian like a Fox. Nit wit.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Stuart

    I am not to be confused with the retarded "Stuart" who posted ignorant comments at 5:14pm and 5:15pm, obviously because they disagreed with my "calling out" Betty Joe's racist comments at 5pm.

    If you're going to copy my name in some lame attempt to discredit or attack me, I'd hope you'd be more creative or intelligent about it. I pity you and your stupidity.

    October 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Monica

    For a three minute video about the LRA to supplement this article, visit this site: http://vimeo.com/28628155

    October 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brady

      This is the best response yet. Love this video. Everyone should watch it. http://vimeo.com/28628155

      October 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stuart

    I sure love me some gooobers. My friends call me Stuart the Goob Gobbler.

    October 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Stuart

    Guess what I am going to be for halloween? A little sissy goob gobblin. LOL : )

    October 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dwane

    The media must keep tabs on every person we send down there. Sending 100 people is stupid. Then giving them strick instructions as to what they can and can not do with there weapon. If we start to see our men and women, (if that's aloud), die, the news must report this and recognize it is 100 persent Obama's fault. I Dare the media to keep us informed about our people.

    October 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • collins61

      I dare you to turn the spell check on. Man thats some terrible spelling there nit wit.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Here we go again, going off to fight another one of Obama's cursed wars as if he hasn't gotten us into enough of them already. Just when is Obama going to make peace with anybody? On the other hand, the stupid Republicans want to reduce the national deficit but continue to be gung ho on all these idiotic wars. This is absolutely revolting!!!

    October 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. leeintulsa

    Per mother jones – same issue, secpalm:

    As head of the LRA – which began a guerrilla war against uganda in 1987 and has since expanded its reach to congo, south sudan, and the central african republic – kony is the king of african warlords. Since 2008, the lra has kidnapped or killed around 6000 civilians and displaced some 400,000. Status: fugitive since 2005. Indicted by the ICC on 33 counts, kony allegedly travelled from exile in the sudan to congo as recently as january.

    October 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
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