posted on Tue 26 Jun 2012 3:58 PM
Briefing on UNOCA and the LRA

On Wednesday (27 June), the Council will hear a briefing by Abou Moussa, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) on the activities of the office with a particular emphasis on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The AU Special Envoy on the LRA, Francisco Caetano José Madeira, may also attend. It seems that Council members have discussed the possibility of issuing a press statement following the briefing.

If Council members agree to issue a press statement it is likely to focus on the LRA issue. It seems that an agreed text would likely welcome the establishment of the AU task force, express the Council’s support for the task force’s operational phase and call on further donor support. The press statement might also welcome the UN regional strategy and request further reporting from UNOCA on its activities and the LRA-affected areas in particular.

The Secretary General’s report on UNOCA (S/2012/421) of 11 June 2012 devotes a large section to the LRA issue and updates the Council on the launching of the AU regional task force to address the LRA threat (see our LRA/UNOCA brief in the June Forecast). However, the report notes that the initiative lacks adequate resources and that a long-term development strategy needs to be established in the LRA-affected areas.

Another area that will be discussed is the UN regional strategy on the LRA. A final version of the UN regional strategy has been distributed to Council members ahead of the briefing and Moussa is likely to cover the objectives of the strategy in some detail. As requested by the Council in its presidential statement of 14 November 2011 (S/PRST/2011/21), the Secretary-General’s report also contains information on the finalisation of the UN regional strategy on the LRA. The report states that the finalised strategy will focus on five key objectives: (1) implementation of the AU task force; (2) protection of civilians; (3) expansion of disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration activities; (4) promotion of a coordinated humanitarian and child protection response in LRA-affected areas; and (5) assistance to LRA-affected countries in establishing state authority in their territories.

On 22 June Council members had a more informal opportunity to discuss the LRA during an “Arria formula” meeting. This meeting, organised by Portugal and the UK, focused on the experience of LRA-affected communities in the DRC.

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