India supports UN condemnation of attacks by LRA

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 14:40

New York: India has supported a United
Nations statement condemning attacks across Central Africa by
the rebel Lord`s Resistance Army (LRA), saying it will
continue to cooperate with its African partners in projects
aimed at addressing security problems in the region.

In a presidential statement, the Security Council
reiterated its grave concern and demanded immediate end to the
atrocities committed by the LRA.

India`s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh
Puri assured the country`s cooperation to its African
partners, including with African Union and other sub-regional
organisations in projects aimed to strengthen national
capacities that would also help address security problems,
including by the LRA.

"We have announced credit lines of USD 5 billion for the
next three years as well as a number of projects designed for
human resources development in African countries, including
the pan-African e-network project," Puri said.

The Council said it was deeply concerned that its
previous calls for the LRA to cease its attacks have not been
heeded.

The LRA was formed in the late 1980s in Uganda and for
over 15 years it has targeted Ugandan civilians and security
forces, which in 2002 dislodged the rebels.

Puri said long-term socio-economic development and
broad-based inclusive political systems are key to addressing
the threats posed by the armed groups.

He said while measures taken by Uganda in cooperation
with its neighbours have helped contain the problem, the LRA
remains a potent threat and continues to indulge in various
crimes against innocent civilians.

Even with its reduced strength of some 500 combatants,
the LRA, with its leadership at large, continues to pose a
serious threat to peace and security, given its ability to
move freely and carry out operations across borders in several
countries of the region.

"While long term solution to this problem is to extend
the reach of the law enforcement agencies of the States and
focus on development in the affected areas, it is important
that serious efforts be made to eliminate the remaining active
groups and target the leadership of the LRA to bring them to
justice," Puri said.

India said it is necessary for the international
community to strengthen the capacity of the countries in the
Central African region, particularly of their armed forces and
other law enforcement agencies to deal with the LRA.

The LRA extended its rampage to Uganda’s neighbours, such
as Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan,
committing atrocities like recruitment of children, rape,
killing and maiming, and sexual slavery.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 14:40

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