A recent BBC article raises some very interesting questions about the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, which is continuing its rampage against civilians in and around northeastern Congo’s Garamba National Park in the aftermath of the recent joint military operation against it (known as Operation Lightning Thunder):
How [does] the LRA manage to co-ordinate its ambushes when its forces are so dispersed?
Where do they get the satellite phones they use – as well as the ammunition, food and medicines their forces require?
The article notes that there have been a growing number of reports of alleged air-drops of food and supplies in LRA-occupied areas in recent weeks. And who could be re-supplying the LRA? Yes, you guessed it: Khartoum, the longtime sponsor of the LRA’s atrocities in northern Uganda is a likely suspect.
A spokesperson for the U.N. mission in Congo, or MONUC, was skeptical about the rumors of air-drops, but he admitted that "we just don’t know and often lack reliable, timely, actionable intelligence" in the remote, vast, and densely forested area in which the LRA has found sanctuary.
Enough will soon release a strategy paper assessing the fallout in northeastern Congo from Operation Lightning Thunder and focusing on what can be done in its aftermath to better protect civilians from the deadly and ongoing threat of the LRA. Stay tuned.