LRA activity increasing in Africa

July 9, 2012 at 10:57 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 9 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch said the Ugandan militant group, the Lord's Resistance Army, was likely tied to the death of 13 gold miners in the Central African Republic.

Ida Sawyer, a researcher on African affairs at Human Rights Watch, said the LRA was likely behind a series of abductions and slayings in the Central African Republic. Sawyer said 13 employees with the Swedish-owned Central African Wildlife Adventures were apparently arrested for the incident instead.

U.S. President Barack Obama in late 2011 deployed 100 military advisers to the CAR to help military forces take on the LRA. Sawyer said many were stationed in areas far away from the site of the recent attacks in the center of the country.

"The presence of U.S. military advisers and regional forces in the area would enhance information-gathering needed to capture the LRA's leaders and improve protection for civilians," said Sawyer in a statement from Kenya.

LRA leader Joseph Kony is the target of a 2005 arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court. His militant group is suspected of conscripting child soldiers and using girls as sex slaves.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a June report, said international backing was needed for a coordinated strategy to address the LRA threat.

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