Conflict & Justice

AU declares Lord's Resistance Army terrorists


An armed fighter of the Lord's Resistance Army stands guard on Nov. 12, 2006, during a meeting between the rebel group's leadership and United Nations Emergency Relief coordinator Jan Egeland in Ri-Kwamba in southern Sudan.


Stuart Price

Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has been formally declared a terrorist outfit by the African Union.

The AU Peace and Security Council issued a statement Tuesday authorizing a regional cooperation initiative to eliminate the LRA, Voice of America reported.

More on GlobalPost: 5 Things to know about the Lord's Resistance Army

The LRA, which claims it is a religious group, is believed to be behind two decades of murders, rapes and child kidnappings in Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

After a meeting on the rebel group, the AU council's commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said:

"The (AU's) Peace and Security Council has decided to declare the LRA a terrorist group in line with the relevant AU instruments and it requests the United Nations Security Council to do the same."

Lamamra said the next step would be for all African countries to declare the LRA terrorists, and to enact legislation that would forbid the group’s activities.

The AU ban is reportedly the first of its kind, and comes on the heels of a decision by US President Barack Obama to send 100 military advisers to the region to support central African allies pursuing group leader Joseph Kony, Reuters Africa reported.