Congo; Uganda: Is the End Near for the LRA?

General January 17, 2009

 Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 513 | Tue 20 Jan 2009 

(By Neal Youngquist) 

Long-time RLP readers will remember past reports of the Lord's Resistance Army's (LRA) atrocities in Uganda.  To recap, the LRA has waged a campaign of terror for over 20 years.  The UN estimates LRA rebels have kidnapped 20,000 children and forcibly conscripted them into military service or the sex industry. Countless others have suffered their fate through merciless killings.  

Led by the infamous Joseph Kony, a Catholic altar boy turned warlord, the LRA has specifically targeted the church community and clergy who have given refuge to those fleeing the rebel's brutality (RLP 224).  Christmas Day 2008 was no different as a Catholic church in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was the target for the LRA's atrocities.  The following days saw repeated savagery at nearby churches and villages.  Catholic Archbishop Monsignor Richard Domba reported that 150 were hacked to death during the Christmas Day service with another 280 massacred over the following days.  The Ugandan army reports that most of the church victims were innocent women, children and the elderly.  

Recently, encouraging signs have surfaced signalling Africa's longest armed conflict may be coming to an end.  Kony and his henchmen failed to show up as promised for an October 2008 signing of a peace treaty crafted by Ugandan church and government authorities.  In December, Operation Lightning Thunder, a well co- ordinated assemblage of armed forces from Uganda, DRC and the Sudan People's Liberation Army, began air strikes destroying rebel bases in the vast Garamba national reserve in north-east DRC. On the run, Kony and his forces are now fragmented into small regiments in desperate search for food and shelter. Battle fatigue has set in with commanders and soldiers reportedly 'fed up with the war and want to surrender' (The New Vision).   

Could this year witness the end to the LRA? Armed with occult powers, the LRA will not be defeated through normal warfare.  Only divine power realised through fervent intercession will stop this menace.  It is time to seize the day and pray for an end to the LRA-- once and for all.  

'For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.' (2 Corinthians 10:3,4 NIV)  

Please intercede accordingly for: 

* Humanitarian assistance to reach the survivors of the Christmas  week attacks; many are in psychological shock and are wandering  in search of shelter and food, with the UN estimating 70,000  people have been displaced due to the LRA's recent DRC rampage.  

* Rebel commanders and soldiers to peacefully surrender and with  church support re-integrate back to civilian life; may Joseph  Kony be brought to justice to bring closure to those who have  suffered from his evil deeds.  

* Divine strength for the Ugandan and DRC church communities; may  they demonstrate rejoicing in hope, patience in tribulation and  steadfastness in prayer to the fullest degree. (Romans 12:12)  

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SUMMARY TO USE IN BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE      

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IS THE END NEAR FOR THE LRA? The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has waged a murderous campaign of terror for over 20 years in Uganda and neighbouring countries.  During Christmas 2008 the LRA's assault continued with an attack on a Catholic church's Christmas Day service in north-east Congo, leaving 150 dead with 280 massacred over the following days.  Recent government military strikes have devastated LRA bases resulting in LRA's commander, Joseph Kony, and generals fleeing for food and shelter. Demoralised and divided, many in the remaining rebel forces are reportedly close to surrender.  Pray for a final end to the LRA's reign of terror and for those suffering from its unspeakable evils.  

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RLP guest writer Neal Youngquist is a freelance author working on behalf of the poor and persecuted. Elizabeth Kendal, our regular researcher and writer, has been on annual leave. 

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