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. Fair

    How conviniently this report leaves out what is the core values of the group, published in every place they reference, no problem I copy it here "The LRA rebels stated that they fought for the establishment of a government based on the biblical Ten Commandments" Uhmmmm, where I hear this before? Where? Oh I think was here, in some religous univerity attended by Michelle Bachmann, yeah that was their goal too! Oh no, so we have a candidate that is a terrorist?

    October 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. voiceTRUTH

    Why don't my comments show up here?

    October 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • yamimby@yahoo.cmo

      Because you are typing using invisible ink

      October 15, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Berti

      Yami...you made me laugh out loud...funny...Thanks!

      October 15, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. kent

    sounds like a punk band..

    October 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Aaron

    So we can send troops to his homeland to hunt down a group of crazy militants, but we cant send troops to Libya to help overthrow their oppressive government?

    October 15, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • 2011cnn2011

      send em to mexico.

      October 15, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. fiskenmann

    "The Lord's Resistance Army".....LOLOLOL!!!

    October 15, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Berti

      Keep in mind the Lord only means who ever we serve. There are many people who refer to Satan as Lord!

      October 15, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • EatYouAlive

      No such thing as Satan either.

      October 15, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • brian

      Berti – there are also those with actively firing neurons in their skulls who find the notions of "god" and "satan" equally absurd.... pretty much up there with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster in terms of quality evidence.

      Oh, I forgot... I'm supposed to have "faith". I guess "faith" means a complete suspension of logic and reason. Not sure why religion is the only realm immune to logical scrutiny.

      October 15, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brad

    "...killing civilians, including women and children"

    This implies that when civilian men are victimized, it somehow doesn't matter, at least as much as women (children are always innocent). Is the idea that all civilian men are always culpible and civilian women are always victims?

    I wish the author (a woman) would reply to this to explain. Thank you!

    October 15, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Berti

      I didn't read it that way at all. It is just commonly thought that women and children are weaker, there for easier prey.
      If you ever read an article where the US inadvertantly kills civilians they always einclude that womwne and children were also hurt. I makes it sound worse!

      October 15, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. school marm

    P is for psycho
    H is for hypocrite
    I is for ignorant
    L is for lunatic
    I is for incorrect
    P is for pubescent

    October 15, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    The Lords Resistance Army stands for targets that needs to be brought down NOW. And E=MC2 from what u wrote that stands for STUPIDITY.

    October 15, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. Brett

    there are some good arguments here, some bad ones, some so far off i wont summon the brain cells to respond. But this is true, if this guy is truly as bad as he is made out to be.. He needs to be eliminated, i understand, most of his army consists of child soldiers that were brought up within kony's army. Via illegal means or what-not, doesn't matter. Would you like it to continue? Or would you try and stop it. Stop for a second and think. If you dont care, fine. Im not judging you. (ill leave that to the rest of the population, the informed people.) all im saying is if this was your decision? Hell.. I might pull the trigger, press the button, whisper in the ear. Myself. Whatever it takes. End him.

    October 15, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. London G. Welsh

    If you read Janes Intelligence Review ( subscriber since 1995 ) you learn about all these paramilitary groups in conflict zones around the world. I read a book by Robert Pelton called The World's most Dangerous Places years ago and that's where I found out about Janes and these paramilitary groups around the world.

    Very good read and extremely informative on whats really going on in the world.

    October 15, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I've looked at jane's weapon books, referencing ww2 tanks.. Name carries clout with me.

      October 15, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. brian

    Are these guys in Uganda or Texas? I'm actually pretty sure they're based in Texas.

    October 15, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I was gonna say they are too black for texas. But having lived in both, oklahoma is racially much worse than texas... It fit the joke better..

      October 15, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. Klaark

    Hey, the U.S. finally found African on a map, how about that? They probably spotted it when that whole Egypt thing was going on.

    October 15, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ron San Bruno CA

    The president of Uganda and his wife believe Gays should be imprisoned or killed .. They are religious zealots protected by the gop.Check it out . The president of uganda is himself a terriorest in the name of christianity .Rachel Maddow did an indepth report on C Street over a year ago, research it if you want the truth .

    October 15, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. oeblio

    Sounds like an ideal gig for the Predator. Rain down some Hellfire on them.

    October 15, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. snarks

    Does it matter? Obama would still do what he wants, and the low iq retards (liberals) would worship him regardless.

    October 15, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Its Because

      Because he does what is RIGHT to protect the peoples of other countries who have little or no voice and can't protect themselves when even their own governments don't step up to the plate to protect them. God Bless President Obama!

      October 15, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Listen Here

      Snarks, and the (lizard) conservatives who lack compassion for others would rather take pleasure in these people suffering and just be satisfied with stepping back and ignoring the whole situation. It's so typical of them to do nothing to help their fellow man! It takes a real President, like Obama, to step forward and help those in need! What's the Republican's excuse!!

      October 15, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
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