Council Press Statement on the LRA
Yesterday following a private meeting the Council issued a very substantive press statement on the LRA (SC/10335). The permanent observer of the AU, Téte António, and the permanent representatives of CAR, DRC, South Sudan and Uganda attended the meeting. António shared information on the AU’s proposals for a regional task force, joint operations centre and joint co-ordination mechanism with the Council.
In its statement, the Council condemned the ongoing attacks of the LRA across central Africa, demanded an end to all attacks on civilians by the LRA and urged all LRA elements to surrender and disarm.The statement also commended the efforts being made by the militaries of the CAR, DRC, South Sudan and Uganda to address the LRA threat and welcomed the recent AU initiative proposing a range of activities to tackle the LRA.
During the briefing António also told the Council that the AU is planning to submit a report to its Peace and Security Council in August on this issue with a decision expected at the end of the year. It seems that the African Council members highlighted the importance of executing the ICC arrest warrants for LRA leaders. It appears the tensions between the Ugandan and Congolese forces and the need to reconcile differences were also discussed. Another issue that appears to have come up is the need for increased logistical support from UN missions in the area as well as bilateral support.
The Council statement requests the Secretary-General to produce a report, to be submitted in October 2011, assessing the threat posed by the LRA and regional and UN efforts to address the threat. It seems possible that this issue could be taken up again in November. Portugal has indicated interest in taking up the issue during its presidency that month.