India supports UN condemnation of attacks by LRA
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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.


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

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