British and US officials have discussed the current military action by the Governments of Uganda, DRC and Southern Sudan against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), including the need to limit retaliatory action by the LRA against civilian populations in southern Sudan and elsewhere in the region on a number of occasions. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not raised the issue of the LRA with his US counterpart.
British officials have closely followed the military operation against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), along with their counterparts in the United Nations Security Council and the EU. The impact of LRA actions on civilian populations forms a regular part of our dialogue with the UN missions in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A UN Security Council Presidential Statement was issued on 23 December 2008, condemning Joseph Kony’s refusal to sign the Final Peace Agreement and welcoming the joint efforts by the Governments of Uganda, DRC, Southern Sudan and the Central African Republic to tackle the LRA. This was followed by further a press statement in January condemning the retaliatory attacks by the LRA and calling on them to cease its attacks on civilians immediately.
The EU issued a statement on 19 February noting the regional military action against the LRA, condemning the atrocious attacks by the LRA and calling on all involved in the military operation to protect the civilian population from further attacks.
The Governments of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Southern Sudan are currently engaged in joint military action against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). We have urged all parties involved to respect fully international law, do all they can to minimise any adverse humanitarian impact and fully coordinate with the UN missions in the region. We have also called for the protection of local populations from LRA retaliatory attacks. Recent reporting suggests that the numbers of LRA attacks on civilians, which have mainly taken place in the DRC rather than Sudan, is diminishing, although it is unclear whether this is due to better civilian protection efforts, erosion of LRA capability or a change of LRA tactics.