Patterns of Mass LRA Attacks in Eastern CAR
The insecurity caused by the proliferation of armed groups in eastern CAR has allowed LRA groups to exploit vast stretches of ungoverned territory. The LRA committed 25 attacks in CAR in the first six months of 2013, killing 35 people and abducting 112 others, though attack patterns varied significantly in different prefectures. The LRA committed 11 of these 25 attacks in Haut Mbomou prefecture and the eastern edge of Mbomou prefecture, where Ugandan troops are deployed in several locations and have prevented the advance of Seleka factions. Aside from one attack in which LRA forces abducted 13 hunters, these attacks were primarily small scale looting raids on isolated farmers or travelers. This trend is largely consistent with the pattern of LRA attacks in areas of CAR under UPDF influence in 2012, suggesting that the presence of Ugandan (and US) troops is a deterrent to mass LRA attacks.
In areas of Haut Kotto prefecture and western Mbomou prefecture where US and Ugandan troops have far more limited access, Seleka factions are deployed in several towns but provide little security to the civilian population. In Haut Kotto, the LRA committed several highly violent attacks in the first half of 2013 in which they killed 25 people and abducted 79 others. LRA activity followed a similar pattern in 2012, during which LRA forces committed several brazen attacks on large villages in Haut Kotto and western Mbomou outside of Ugandan military influence, abducting over 110 people and looting large amounts of food and supplies. Overall, 85% of mass LRA attacks in CAR between January 2012 and June 2013 occurred in areas not under UPDF influence, and the LRA abducted nearly triple the amount of people per attack in areas outside of UPDF influence (6.0) as they did in areas under UPDF influence (2.2).