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. Wade Munson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrva2aKW1lU

    This video explains who the LRA is and why they must be stopped. Please, educate yourself. It is so important.

    October 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coleen

      I'm really glad CNN is posting this because people need to understand who Joseph Kony is, what the LRA is and what they're capable of. They could probably expand on it a bit though.
      invisiblechildren.com

      October 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vorpz

      Amazing video, very informative.

      October 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proud American

      President Obama is sending U.S. Special Forces to take out these sons of b! tches today.

      I'm a Republican, but today, I am very proud of our President.

      GOD BLESS AMERICA!

      October 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus Is Lord

      Hi Pastor C!

      October 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      They resist the ways of the true Lord and God Jesus Christ our savior.
      The United States should just KEEP the countries we send our troops in to clean up.
      The filth of the world just keeps coming back like a bad STD.
      The true army of the Lord camps under the red white and blue.
      God's own chosen country.
      Love it or leave it...

      October 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Diknur Mouth

    Obamba should just nuke the us, and save us all of the present suffering

    October 14, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rags

      It isn't the US that's at fault, rather it is the individual that wants and never gives.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rojas

      Weak-stomached idiot.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      You just wish you lived in a country like this.
      Maybe if you come in over the southern border like the other rats, you can enjoy our great land too.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. erich2112x

    Bunch of dope fiends run riot is what they are.

    October 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • david

      i would say say to show your true colors, but you are correct good sir. That is how they get kids to join their army. Its pretty sad. Africa is in a bad place

      October 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • erich2112x

      Thank you Zak.

      October 15, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Thinker

    STOP! STOP KILLING PEOPLE! Stop sending our troops overseas. Let China do it! We're BANKRUPT.

    October 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rags

      You wrote this at 9:51PM so you might be in your comfortable home with a computer, therefore I doubt if you're BANKRUPT. Best thing you could do now is to send a few extra $$'s to Obama for his election.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rojas

      Yeah, sure. China.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. msnam

    amazing ! the word "Christian" is not even mentioned a single time. Would this be the case if they were Muslim?

    October 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • josh

      what are you saying?

      October 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • collins61

      Where were you with these questions when the genocide was happening in Darfur, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia and so on. The Muslims are at the root of all of those conflicts and are in fact, if you believe the video, funding the LRA now. He doesn't represent Christian values but the Muslims certainly are carrying out their dastardly deeds to the letter as described in their book of death.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      So you actually think these animals are Christians.
      How sad...

      October 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    I love it America is the Mamma for the world, we fix everyone problems even when they don't want us to! Like the Boy Scout that helped the old lady across the street even when she didn't want to go, after all it was a good deed!

    October 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dumiqua

      Aaugg

      October 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kingjohn

    Typical Obama agenda, The Lord's Army are christians and are fighting the muslims. Personally, I am a religion free zone. But these ARE the facts.

    October 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • josh

      That is complete nonsense. These people are not Christians.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rags

      You should read the article before you speak. Here, try again:

      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,

      October 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      People like you just can't help but the show the world what doosh nozzles you are everytime you open your mouth.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. grumpy

    Lord's Resistance Army, huh?

    Must be affiliated with the Tea Party.

    October 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dumiqua

      Affilated with the democrats who dod not get their government check so they went to get theirs 99 percent from the one percent.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • collins61

      Wow, you're so clever. Will you be having another drink sir?

      October 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ed

    religion, fk yea!

    October 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Matako

    At "Why do we care", you are such an idiot...just to let you know the LRA is a terrorist organisation that had links with Sudan...there is alot of American properties, in those countries and thus leading to American interests...Think

    October 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Why do we need a "reason" to exterminate these rabid animals?
      If a dog would act like this, wouldn't you put it down?
      Get a clue people.
      These creatures can't be breathing our air anymore.
      The world is changing.
      It's time to take out the trash.
      Go Barry..........

      October 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LuxeEtVolupte

    I thought "Kony" was a nickname for Conan O'brien, or the name of a hotdog that you can order at Sonic.

    October 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • collins61

      You're right. Carry on.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cacique

    Let the Drones do their job. Let's take our capabilities, hone them, train our operators, and all that technology we have paid for and show off its potential. No need to expose our soldiers when our machines can take most of the risks...It is a luxury to have the kind of military that we have, we have to help them preserve themselves while utilizing all the gadgets at their disposal.

    October 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • collins61

      Finally, a voice of reason. You have my vote.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Why waste drones on these monkeys.
      Just drop some napalm....
      Obama is going to use them for Seal target practice.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. undead

    So this guy's killed 2400 and we send 100. Mexican Drug Cartels have killed some 30,000 and we send our Border Patrol Agents to refresher training for not providing water and comfortable holding cells to illegal trespassers.

    October 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Another Foxtard I presume...

      October 14, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. invisibleCH

    Ok this is not about religion or discrimination or politics here it's about thousands of children being abducted and killed for one man doing horrible things. It's about kids walking miles everyday just to have a safe place to sleep at night. It's about child soldiers being reunited with their families. It's about saving children who have had brothers sisters mothers and fathers killed before them. It's about saving the children. That is what we are trying to do.

    October 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Stuart

    Leave em alone. They arent hurting us. Why are we always throwing away money on misadventures like this? If anything we should scoop up some of the occupy wall street commies and send them over there. Our good patriotic troops are too valuable to be sent to darkest africa to hunt cannibals. Send the hippy protesters over there.

    October 14, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • collins61

      Hippies are gamey in taste and quite stringy. I doubt they would eat them. Worth a try though.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Oh please.....
      Where have you been?
      Death is our greatest export.
      Don't take that away ..

      October 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
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