The specter of terrorism is haunting the continent of Africa. In one of Africa’s longest running insurgencies, a rebel group is wanted for terrible war crimes. Infamous for regional atrocities including brutal massacres of innocent civilians, four African nations in conjunction with the African Union are now moving to reclassify this group, currently considered a rebellion, to the status of terrorist insurgents in an effort to bolster greater international support and cooperation.
In the last two years alone, this group of terrorists has killed about 2,000 people and displaced over 400,000 according to the United Nations. These terrorists cite the sacred scripture of a major world religion and believe they are fighting in a holy cause to overthrow infidel governments and replace them with God’s law. But who are they?
If you’ve been watching Fox News like many Americans, the answer couldn’t be easier: Muslims, of course. After all, Fox News anchor Brian Kilmeade recently proclaimed, “All terrorists are Muslims.” No doubt many in the anti-Muslim blogosphere agreed with his “factual” statement (at least before he was forced to make a half-hearted pro forma apology). But if you guessed Muslims, you’d be wrong. No, these terrorists aren’t fighting for Allah. They’re fighting for the Lord Jesus Christ (or so they claim, but we don’t think this is what Christ taught).
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports via Yahoo News.
LIBREVILLE (AFP) – Central African countries plagued by the brutal rebellion of the Lord’s Resistance Army are working to reclassify the group as terrorists, the African Union said on Saturday.
At a meeting this week in the Central African Republic aimed at promoting a joint approach to the LRA, participants agreed to take steps to have the LRA classified as terrorists, rather than rebels, by the AU.
This would give affected countries greater access to international funds and require increased levels of judicial cooperation.
The group has killed about 2,000 people in the last two years, and displaced more than 400,000, according to the UN.
Representatives from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan met in Bangui on Wednesday and Thursday, along with Kenya, where they also agreed to step up joint military action.
“Participants agreed to the following concrete measures: the creation of a joint centre of operations, the creation of a joint taskforce to lead actions against the LRA, and the deployment of joint border patrols,” the AU said in a statement.
The LRA emerged in 1998 in northern Uganda as a rebel movement dedicated to overthrowing the east African country’s government and establishing a regime to uphold the Biblical Ten Commandments, but it was largely put down in its own country.
Today it is infamous for regional atrocities against civilians, including massacres, and its leaders are wanted for war crimes. Uganda launched a joint raid with DR Congo troops against it in December 2008, but failed to crush it or capture its chief, Joseph Kony.