Notable Political Context
Seleka, a coalition of four rebel groups primarily from northern Central African Republic (CAR), overthrew the government of President François Bozizé in March 2013. However, the new authorities, led by self-proclaimed President Michael Djotodia, have failed to establish security within Bangui and surrounding towns since the coup, and the coalition is increasingly fragmented. Seleka troops continue to kill, rape, and loot civilians with impunity, causing widespread discontent and periodic unrest.
On July 19, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council authorized the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (AFISM-CAR), which will incorporate elements from the existing Mission for the Consolidation of Peace in the CAR (MICOPAX). The mission was given several mandates, including protection of civilians and restoring the authority of the central government. It will operate alongside the AU-authorized counter-LRA mission (AU RTF), though no mechanism to coordinate activities and share information has yet been established.
Ugandan troops operating in southeast CAR under the authority of the AU RTF officially suspended counter-LRA operations following the March 2013 coup. Tensions between the new Central African authorities and Ugandan troops spiked after Djotodia threatened to send Seleka troops to Ugandan-controlled territory following an unsuccessful attack on the town of Obo by a new armed group. However, in June 2013, Djotodia signed a statement reaffirming his support of the AU RTF and permitting Ugandan troops to resume operations against the LRA. Both the AU Peace and Security Council and UN Security Council have also encouraged the Ugandan military to resume operations. The Ugandan government has yet to officially announce it has resumed operations, but is reportedly planning to do so.
Joseph Kony, leader of the LRA, has moved frequently between eastern CAR and the Sudanese-controlled Kafia Kingi enclave, a disputed area on the border of South Sudan and Sudan, since 2010. He resided in Kafia Kingi, where Ugandan and other RTF troops do not have permission to operate, throughout late 2012 and into early 2013. He then reportedly crossed the border to return to CAR, though he may be operating in areas in which Ugandan troops have limited logistical capacity to operate.