March 28, 2010

X. Response to Ongoing Abuses

 

Congolese Government and Armed Forces

Following the end of Operation Lightning Thunder in March 2009, the Congolese government repeatedly maintained that the LRA threat was substantially reduced, and nearly over.[151] But despite such public proclamations, a number of government and military authorities recognized that the LRA remained a danger.[152] In May 2009, the Congolese government and MONUC launched a new joint initiative, Operation Rudia II, to contain the LRA and help protect civilians. MONUC agreed to provide food rations and logistical support to the Congolese army and to conduct joint patrols in key population centers.[153] Congolese military authorities also continued to quietly cooperate with the Ugandan army, which maintained a sizeable presence in LRA-affected areas of northern Congo that the Congolese government publicly described as only “military advisors.”[154] Congolese and Ugandan officers still meet to discuss strategy and their troops continue to conduct joint patrols and, on occasion, joint operations against the LRA.[155]

The estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Congolese soldiers in Haut Uele and Bas Uele districts face immense challenges in their work: the soldiers have few vehicles, no helicopters, and inadequate communications systems. They move around on foot in a vast terrain making their response time to LRA attacks exceedingly slow, if they can respond at all. The soldiers’ salaries and rations arrive irregularly or do not arrive at all.[156] Despite these limitations, many Congolese army soldiers have made valiant efforts to protect civilians from LRA attacks and to rescue abducted children who had escaped from LRA captivity.[157]

As described above, following the Makombo massacre, Congolese army soldiers helped to bury the dead and reported to their superiors about the attack. On December 26, 2009, a small military team from the battalion headquarters at Bangadi arrived to the area to investigate what had happened, an unusually rapid response from the army. Following a three-day investigation, led by Major Kibomango, the military team confirmed that a “massacre” had been perpetrated by the LRA.[158] In late December and early January 2010, the Congolese army deployed a small unit of soldiers to Tapili and the Makombo area to avert further LRA attacks. The soldiers were still there at the time of writing.

Less clear is whether Congolese authorities have taken any steps in response to the army’s report about the massacre. By mid-March 2010, no Congolese judicial officials had yet been sent to document the atrocities, and Congolese officials with whom Human Rights Watch spoke in Kinshasa were unaware of the LRA attack and the scale of the violations. MONUC officials said they had not received information from the Congolese army about the killings.[159]

Abuses by the FARDC: The “Ours Battalion” in Bangadi

Some Congolese army soldiers have attacked civilians rather than protect them. In mid-2009, the Congolese government replaced its elite Republican Guard units in Haut Uele with regular army soldiers, some of whom were new “mixed brigades” from the Kivu provinces in eastern Congo. The mixed brigades include soldiers from former, often abusive, armed groups recently integrated into the army.[160] Reports of violations against civilians began to increase. The most serious abuses were committed by the 911th Battalion, known as the “Ours Battalion (“bear” in French) deployed in the Bangadi area of Haut Uele from January to early December 2009.[161] The battalion was led by Major Mogabo, who, like a significant number of his soldiers, was reportedly a former member of an armed group recently integrated into the army with minimal military training.[162] The reports of the abuses were so widespread that many humanitarian organizations refused to work in Bangadi throughout 2009, resulting in further isolation of the local population.[163]

During their time in the area, soldiers from the “Ours” Battalion were reportedly responsible for the killing of at least seven civilians, the rape of at least nine women and girls, arbitrary arrests and widespread looting and extortion. The seven murders in Bangadi reported to Human Rights Watch were often associated with looting and extortion activities.[164] In one case, at least, those implicated in murder were arrested: the authorities arrested three soldiers accused of murdering Bolingwa Dieudonne, 38, on May 17, 2009, near Diagbe by stabbing him in the neck and beating him on the face.[165] Human Rights Watch is not aware if they have yet been brought to trial.

Sexual violence against women and girls has been a hallmark of the conflict elsewhere in Congo and the increase in reported rape cases by Congolese army soldiers in Haut Uele has been a troubling development. Women’s rights organizations reported the rape of five girls and four women, including a 12-year-old girl, in and around Bangadi town in 2009 by Congolese army soldiers of the “Ours” Battalion.[166] In one case, a woman raped by a soldier on April 5, 2009, identified the perpetrator and demanded his arrest. According to the victim, Major Mogabo, the battalion’s commanding officer, did not believe the charges, conducted no investigation nor did he refer the case to judicial authorities. The alleged perpetrator was transferred to another town, but the soldier returned only a few months later.[167]

In early December 2009, the “Ours” battalion was transferred to Banda in Bas Uele and Ngilima in Haut Uele and was replaced in Bangadi by the 912th Battalion, known as the“Guépard”Battalion (“cheetah” in French). Nearly all civil society representatives, religious leaders, humanitarian workers, and residents of Bangadi interviewed by Human Rights Watch said the relations between Congolese army soldiers and the population dramatically improved with the “Ours”Batallion’s departure.

There have yet to be any judicial investigations into alleged abuses by “Ours” Battalion soldiers in Bangadi. On February 23, 2010, Human Rights Watch met with Col. Eric Mbabazi, commander of the 4th Brigade, to which the “Ours” Battalion reports, to urge him to open judicial investigations by military magistrates into alleged criminal offenses. He agreed to do so.[168]

Human Rights Watch has also received reports of abuses by Congolese soldiers deployed in other areas in Haut Uele, including in and around the district capital of Dungu. On the main road from Dungu to Aba, soldiers have reportedly set up 36 checkpoints where they illegally tax civilians and extort money and other belongings.[169] Several civilians have been wounded or killed in and around Dungu by attackers claiming to be LRA combatants. In most cases, it is unclear whether these attacks were carried out by Congolese army soldiers, local bandits or actual LRA combatants.[170]

Ugandan Army

The Ugandan army is believed to retain an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 soldiers in northern Congo to conduct operations against the LRA.[171] Ugandan military officers say they take the protection of civilians during LRA operations seriously, though they believe this is primarily the responsibility of the host nation on whose territory the Ugandan army operates.[172] An official communication from the Ugandan Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence to Human Rights Watch on March 17, 2010, stated that:

[The] Ugandan government takes the protection [of] civilians during LRA operations very seriously. It is on that basis that IDP camps were created in Northern Uganda.[173]  However with operations in DRC/Sudan and CAR, the responsibility to protect the people largely resides with the host nations since the core task of UPDF [Ugandan army] squads is to conduct mobile operations which are in most cases away from the population centers. Besides, our squads are very few for a theatre stretching almost 700 km. The local forces then concentrate on guarding population centers and securing the communication infrastructure, especially roads. However despite our generally mobile posture, there are many cases where we have positional defenses, as our bases, reinforcing the local forces in the protection of those centres.[174]

While the Ugandan army does not have primary responsibility for protecting civilians from LRA attacks, efforts to ensure their security will be vastly improved if there is greater communication with local communities and between national armies and UN missions operating in LRA-affected areas. Appropriate logistical support to protect civilians and apprehend LRA leaders is also a critical requirement. In February 2010, the Ugandan government’s Minister of Defence sought an additional US$12.1 million for its military operations against the LRA to cover food, medicine, wages and ammunition.[175] Since much of the military spending is classified, it is not known how much, if any, of this additional funding is being made available to enhance protection of civilians.

Improving civilian protection, as the Ugandan army claims, further requires obtaining accurate intelligence about LRA attacks, something the Ugandan army did not appear to have done in the case of the Makombo massacre.

In response to Human Rights Watch questions about what information the Ugandan army had in relation to the massacre, Ugandan Military Intelligence stated that “not much is known” about the attack except for information it received from the Congolese army on December 16, 2009 that “the LRA rebels crossed the Uele [River] on 15 Dec 09 into Tapili village, and killed 02 civilians and 01 FARDC soldier, taking his firearm.”[176] In response to this information, the Ugandan army sent out an “intelligence squad” to where the LRA was suspected of having crossed the river but, was unable to “get the exact spot where the enemy [the LRA] crossed and the general direction the enemy took.”[177] A few days later, on December 22, in a location near Mabanga Ya Talo, the Ugandan soldiers “found civilians with sketchy information that the enemy generally crossed through that area.”[178]

Later, on February 28, 2009, Ugandan soldiers rescued two Congolese children during an attack on the LRA north of Dukuma village. According to Ugandan Military Intelligence, one of the children had been abducted at Tapili in December 2009 and told the Ugandan soldiers about other children and adults abducted and killed in the same incident.[179]

Despite receiving this and other information about the LRA attack in the Makombo area, Human Rights Watch is not aware of any further investigation by the Ugandan army into the massacre, nor steps taken to prevent similar attacks on civilians in the future.

MONUC

Under UN Security Council Resolution 1906 of 2009 and previous resolutions, MONUC has a mandate to protect civilians throughout Congo, with a specific focus on eastern Congo.[180] With its attention and resources often directed towards the volatile eastern provinces of North and South Kivu, where protection of civilians has been an exceedingly difficult task, minimal resources have been available for the LRA-affected areas of northern Congo. Following the 2008 Christmas massacres, MONUC increased the number of peacekeepers in Haut Uele district and enhanced its civilian staff component, including by deploying a small number of staff working on child protection, human rights and civil affairs. By March 2010, MONUC had nearly 1,000 peacekeepers deployed in the area.[181] Although an important increase, the number was still inadequate to meet the urgent protection needs of the population. An additional battalion of 800 Tunisian peacekeepers was due to be deployed to LRA-affected areas in June 2009 but it was redirected to Equateur Province, in western Congo, to help calm an unexpected conflict there.[182] At the time of writing, it is unclear when or if these peacekeepers or others will be sent to the LRA-affected areas.

MONUC’s activities in northern Congo are largely set by Operation Rudia II (“return” in Swahili), a joint initiative with the Congolese army to contain the LRA and help protect civilians, launched in March 2009 following the end of Operation Lightning Thunder. The initiative builds on an earlier operation, known as Rudia I, which ran between September 2008 and March 2009. As part of the joint initiative, MONUC provides food rations and fuel to Congolese army soldiers as well transport assistance. [183] As with similar support provided to the Congolese army in the Kivu provinces in 2009, minimal monitoring is in place to track whether the support reaches the troops on the ground, allowing for misappropriation of the support and undermining both MONUC and Congolese army efforts to protect civilians. [184] Apart from a failed operation in January 2006 to capture Vincent Otti, one of the LRA’s top leaders at the time, [185] MONUC has not engaged in active offensive operations against the LRA.

MONUC officials were not involved in the planning or execution of Operation Lightning Thunder in December 2008 and had minimal coordination with the Ugandan army during the duration of the operation.[186] When the operation officially ended in March 2009, the Ugandan military base at Dungu airport was moved to southern Sudan. Although many Ugandan soldiers remained in northern Congo, no working mechanism was established by either party, or by the Congolese military, to coordinate efforts to protect civilians, make maximum use of available logistical resources or to share intelligence. The military chiefs of staff of the Congolese, Ugandan and CAR armies together with the MONUC force commander met in July 2009, and, in a public statement following the meeting, said that the LRA had been “dramatically reduced” and were “fighting for their survival.”[187] They further agreed to enhance intelligence sharing but set out no practical mechanism for how this would be done. MONUC officials in Haut Uele district in February 2010 said they did not coordinate with the Ugandan army since it was not officially on Congolese soil.[188] Ugandan army officials, in turn, claimed MONUC did little to protect civilians and hence saw few benefits to coordinating their efforts with the UN mission, though some added that MONUC’s logistical capacity, such as its helicopters, could be useful.[189] Congolese army officials interacted separately with both parties.

MONUC’s response to the Makombo massacre

With no coordination between the three major military forces in northern Congo, resources thinly stretched, and limited intelligence on the location of LRA groups, MONUC was in no position to avert the Makombo massacre. On December 24, MONUC established a small temporary operating base in Niangara with 31 Moroccan peacekeepers. The base was established in reaction to concerns that the LRA might attack Niangara or other towns over the Christmas period, as they had during the 2008 Christmas period,[190] rather than reacting to the Makombo attack of which MONUC was still unaware.[191] Only by late December 2009, did MONUC officials begin to receive information about a possible large-scale LRA attack around Makombo. MONUC officials told Human Rights Watch the information was initially sketchy and unconfirmed,[192] but no immediate efforts were made to follow-up, even though one of the reports received by MONUC indicated that over 100 civilians had been killed. One possible explanation for the lack of response was that MONUC’s focus remained on the Kivu provinces and the rumored LRA attacks on Dungu and other towns for which troops has been put on high alert.[193] With many staff away for the Christmas holidays, no decision was made to change priorities.

On January 20, 2010, a MONUC human rights official arrived in Niangara for 90 minutes to follow up on the rumors of an LRA attack at Makombo. Based on the information he received, the official recommended a special mission to investigate, but none was approved.[194] On January 26, MONUC received another report from civil society groups, this time detailing 266 dead in the Makombo area,[195] a figure that should have triggered a response. MONUC officials later told Human Rights Watch that without the GPS coordinates for Makombo village it could not land a helicopter there to conduct investigations[196] and no concerted efforts were made to find alternatives.

On February 23, March 2, March 5, and March 9, 2010, Human Rights Watch researchers briefed MONUC staff in Dungu, Goma, and Kinshasa about the extent of the killings and abductions by the LRA in the Makombo area. On March 11, nearly 10 weeks after learning about one of the gravest atrocities in Congo in 2009, MONUC deployed an investigation team to document the killings.

 

Humanitarian and Child Protection Agencies

There was a notable increase in humanitarian organizations working in the LRA-affected areas of northern Congo in 2009, yet the response is still vastly inadequate compared to the scale of the problem. A number of UN agencies and some 15 international nongovernmental organizations were working in the region at the time of writing. The lack of communications, infrastructure, and roads, as well as the concentration of human and other resources in North and South Kivu provinces of eastern Congo, has made the humanitarian response particularly slow.

Child protection needs are particularly acute. Between June 2009 and January 2010, the UN children’s fund, UNICEF, and its partner agencies registered 891 children who escaped from the LRA’s captivity, including 472 in Dungu, 246 in Faradje, and 173 in Doruma. Of those, 43 children were foreign nationals, mostly from Sudan and CAR.[197] Many others have escaped in areas where UNICEF and its partner agencies are not operating, such as in Niangara and Bangadi, and in the more remote villages outside of the larger population centers. In these areas children who have escaped the LRA have not been officially registered, received minimal or no assistance in finding their families, nor have they had access to psychosocial support. In Bangadi, for example, civil society groups registered 113 children who escaped from the LRA in 2009, including 54 girls and 59 boys, plus a further five girls and four boys who escaped in early 2010. While some were able to return to their families, many are living with host families who do not have the means to feed and clothe them or pay their school fees.[198]

At this writing, UNICEF had also not yet received funding for the continuation of its 2010 program in the LRA-affected areas of northeastern Congo and since January its implementing partners have been without financing.[199]

Other UN Bodies

The UN Security Council has retained some focus on the LRA threat and encouraged greater cooperation between UN missions operating in the central African region affected by the LRA. On November 17, 2009, the council issued a press statement condemning the ongoing LRA attacks and calling for “coordination strategies... for the protection of civilians” among the UN missions.[200] On December 23, 2009, the Security Council passed Resolution 1906 calling on “the governments of the Great Lakes region to coordinate their efforts to address the threat posed by the LRA” and strongly encouraging “enhanced regular information-sharing... with MONUC and other United Nations Missions in the areas where the LRA is threatening the population.”[201] The council specifically called on the UN secretary-general to enhance cooperation and information-sharing between the various UN missions operating in the region. While some steps have been taken in this direction, for example the re-activation of the UN headquarters’ task force on the LRA in late 2009, they are still far from effective.

In December 2009, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and MONUC published a long-delayed report on the atrocities committed by the LRA between September 2008 and June 2009. The report called for any military operations against the LRA to be “reoriented” and “redefined” in order to better protect civilians and to succeed at dismantling the LRA.[202]

United States

Following the collapse of the Juba peace process in November 2008, the US government has become the primary international actor supporting national armed forces in military operations against the LRA. The US military, through the United States African Command (AFRICOM), provided substantial support to Operation Lightning Thunder including intelligence, planning, technical and logistical support.[203] On February 24, 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US had provided US$6.4 million worth of support and supplies to militaries in the region. She stated that although the military operation had unfortunately not led to the result the US government had been seeking, she believed that “[US] support of these operations has helped to degrade the capacity of the LRA.” She highlighted the importance of civilian protection and better information and intelligence sharing between the militaries in the region and the UN missions. In closing she said, “I have been following the Lord’s Resistance Army for more than 15 years. I just don’t understand why we cannot end this scourge. And we’re going to do everything we can to provide support we believe will enable us to do that.”[204]

US officials have given no timescale for how long they will continue to support Ugandan military operations against the LRA. In response to Human Rights Watch, the US State Department on March 22, 2010 said that its “plans to continue support to counter-LRA operations in Central Africa are based on Uganda’s willingness to continue the operation, the continued regional cooperation and support for the operations, and our assessment of the prospects for success.”[205] General William E. Ward, the US commander of AFRICOM, in a press conference on January 21, 2010 said that in his opinion the operation against the LRA worked on an African timescale “because things don’t happen fast in Africa.”[206]

Members of the US Congress have expressed support for operations against the LRA, but seek a clear strategy from the Obama administration on how to end the LRA problem. In May 2009, several senators and representatives introduced the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act.[207] If passed, the law would require the Obama administration to develop a regional strategy to protect civilians in central Africa from LRA attacks, “to apprehend or otherwise remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield,” and ensure full humanitarian access in LRA-affected areas. It further commits the US government to increase support to economic recovery and transitional justice efforts in Uganda.[208] Since being introduced, the bill has received broad bipartisan support.[209] The bill passed the Senate on March 11, 2010, and is currently pending with the House Foreign Relations Committee.

On January 22, 2010, representatives of civil society in Dungu, also indicated they were frustrated with the long wait to end the LRA attacks. In a public memorandum to the Congolese government and the international community they denounced repeated statements that the LRA threat is diminishing and pleaded for urgent action to end the LRA’s atrocities. The memo said:

“We proclaim to the highest level to say STOP to the atrocities by the Ugandan rebels, the LRA, against civilians in the Uele districts and in Dungu territory in particular. Enough is enough!”[210]

[151] President Joseph Kabila, Address to the Nation, December 7, 2009. “LRA is history, says President Museveni,” State House Online, February 2, 2009, http://www.statehouse.go.ug/news.php?catId=1&item=457 (accessed March 24, 2010); “Ugandan President says Rebel Chief is Likely in Darfur,” Agence France-Presse, March 13, 2010.

[152] Human Rights Watch interviews with Congolese officers, Haut Uele, February 2010.

[153] Human Rights Watch interview with UN official, Dungu, February 25, 2010.

[154] Human Rights Watch interviews with government official, Kinshasa, March 6, 2010, and diplomat, March 17, 2010. The Ugandan government refers to their soldiers in Congo as “Intelligence squads.”

[155] Human Rights Watch interviews with Congolese and Ugandan army officers, Haut Uele, February 2010.

[156] Human Rights Watch interviews with Congolese officers and UN officials, Haut Uele, February 19-25, 2010.

[157] Human Rights Watch has interviewed several wounded civilians and former abductees who said that while they were escaping the LRA, they eventually found Congolese army soldiers who escorted them to health centers or the nearest town, sometimes by transporting them on their bicycles.

[158]Human Rights Watch interviews with civil society and other officials in Niangara, February 19 and 20, 2010.

[159] Human Rights Watch interviews with UN officials, Dungu, February 23 and Kinshasa, March 5, 2010.

[160] These included soldiers from the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), one of the main rebel groups in eastern Congo, and other Mai Mai groups.

[161] The battalion is part of the 1st Brigade of the 9th Military Region, based in Kisangani.

[162] Human Rights Watch interview with civil society representative, Bangadi, February 21, 2010.

[163] Human Rights Watch interview, OCHA representative, Dungu, February 23, 2010.

[164] Human Rights Watch interview with civil society representative, Bangadi, February 21, 2010; Human Rights Watch interview with witness to one murder, Bangadi, February 22, 2010. List of civilians killed in the Bangadi area, compiled by local civil society representatives, received February 23, 2010, on file at Human Rights Watch. Those killed included a man killed in Bangadi on February 22, a man killed in Kana on February 28, a man and his child killed in August 2009 near Bangadi, a 35-year-old man shot dead in Kombali on March 27, and a 38-year-old man and a 19-year-old man shot dead three kilometers from Diagbe on the road towards Doruma on May 17, 2009. Human Rights Watch could not independently confirm each incident.

[165] Human Rights Watch interview with witness, Bangadi, February 22, 2010.

[166] Human Rights Watch interviews with victims, Bangadi, February 22, 2010; Human Rights Watch interview with civil society representative, Bangadi, February 21, 2010; Human Rights Watch interview with women’s representative, Bangadi, February 23, 2010.

[167] Human Rights Watch interview with rape victim, Bangadi, February 22, 2010.

[168] Human Rights Watch interview with Col. Eric Mbabazi, Bangadi, February 23, 2010.

[169] Human Rights Watch interview with international NGO worker, Dungu, February 23, 2010.

[170] Human Rights Watch interview with international NGO worker, Dungu, February 23, 2010; Human Rights Watch interview with hospital representative, Dungu, February 24, 2010.

[171] This figure was neither confirmed nor denied by the Ugandan military. Military experts estimate four UPDF battalions are based in northern Congo. Human Rights Watch interviews with Congolese and international military experts, and UN officials, northern and eastern Congo, February 19-28, and the United States, March 18, 2010.

[172] Official communications between Human Rights Watch and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Kampala, March 17, 2010.

[173] The forced regroupment by the Ugandan government of almost 1.7 million civilians into camps in northern Uganda with little or no protection during the LRA conflict was disastrous for civilians, increased their suffering and violated international protocols. See Human Rights Watch, Abducted and Abused: Renewed Conflict in Northern Uganda, July 14, 2003, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2003/07/14/abducted-and-abused-0.

[174] Official communications between Human Rights Watch and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Kampala, March 17, 2010.

[175]“Defence Seeks Additional Sh70 Billion Funding,” The New Vision (Kampala), February 24, 2010.

[176] Official communications between Human Rights Watch and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Kampala, March 17, 2010

[177] Ibid.

[178] Ibid.

[179] Ibid.

[180] UN Security Council Resolution 1906, S/Res/1906 (2009), December 23, 2009.

[181]By late December 2009, MONUC troops were deployed in Dungu, Duru, Dingila, Faradje, Niangara, Bangadi, and Ngilima towns. The peacekeepers were mostly Moroccan infantry with some Indonesian engineers and Bangladeshi air force personnel.

[182] Human Rights Watch interview with UN official, Dungu, February 25, 2010.

[183]MONUC’s support to the Congolese army consists of 19 tons of food rations plus 660 liters of fuel each week. The support is calculated to assist 5,250 soldiers, though the number of Congolese army soldiers in the area is said to be far fewer. Human Rights Watch interview with UN official, Dungu, February 25, 2010. Human Rights Watch has also seen an official document detailing the food and fuel support. Notes on file at Human Rights Watch.

[184] Human Rights Watch interview with UN official, Dungu, February 25, 2010.

[185]The secret offensive conducted by Guatemalan special forces ended in disaster. Eight Guatemalan UN peacekeepers were killed. “DRC: Armed Group Kills 8 UN peacekeepers in Garamba Park,” UN news service, January 23, 2006. Human Rights Watch interviews with MONUC officials, Kisangani and Kinshasa, July 2006.

[186] See Human Rights Watch, The Christmas Massacres.

[187]“Communiqué Conjoint de la Réunion Tripartite des Chef D’Etat Major Généraux des Forces Armées de La République Démocratique du Congo, de L’Uganda People’s Defence Forces, Des Forces Armées Centrafricaines en Présence Du Commandant de la Force de la MONUC,” Kisangani, June 11, 2009.

[188] Human Rights Watch interviews with UN officials, Dungu, February 23 and 25, 2010.

[189] Human Rights Watch interview with Ugandan army officers, Haut Uele, February 2010.

[190] “Lord’s Resistance Army Sends Chilling Threat to Congolese Civilians,” Enough press release, December 17, 2009. 

[191] Human Rights Watch interviews with UN officials, Dungu, Bangadi and Niangara, February 19-25, 2010.

[192] Human Rights Watch interviews with UN officials, Dungu, February 23, and Goma, March 2, 2010.

[193] “UN peacekeepers on high alert,” BBC Radio, December 18, 2009.

[194] Human Rights Watch interviews with UN officials, Dungu, February 23, and Goma, March 2, 2010.

[195]MONUC Confidential Daily Situation Report, January 26, 2010. On file at Human Rights Watch.

[196] Ibid.

[197]Human Rights Watch interview with UNICEF officials, Dungu, February 23, 2010.

[198]Human Rights Watch interview with civil society representative, Bangadi, February 23, 2010.

[199] Human Rights Watch interviews with UNICEF officials, Dungu, Goma and Kinshasa, February and March 2010.

[200] UN Security Council Press Statement on Lord’s Resistance Army, SC/9791, November 17, 2009.

[201] UN Security Council Resolution 1906, S/Res/1906(2009), December 23, 2009.

[202] Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and MONUC, “Summary of fact finding missions on alleged human rights violations committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the districts of Haut-Uélé and Bas-Uélé in Orientale province of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Special Report, December 2009.

[203]Human Rights Watch interviews with international analyst and diplomats, Kampala, January 20 and 23, 2009. “U.S. Military Helped Plan and Pay for Attack on Ugandan Rebels,” New York Times, February 7, 2009.

[204] Testimony of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 24, 2010, http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/02/137256.htm.

[205]Electronic communication between Human Rights Watch and the US State Department, March 22, 2010. On file at Human Rights Watch.

[206]  “Transcript: Ward Answers Questions at Media Roundtable,” US AFRICOM, http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=3910&lang= (accessed on March 24, 2010).

[207] The original bipartisan co-sponsors are Senators Russ Feingold and Sam Brownback, and Representatives Jim McGovern, Brad Miller, and Ed Royce.

[208] Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-2478

[209] The bill currently has 64 co-sponsors in the Senate and 163 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

[210]Civil society memo, Dungu civil society, January 22, 2010. On file at Human Rights Watch.