Read this with care and a healthy pinch of salt. It may be true but Invisible Children (of Kony 2012 video notoriety) are not always spot on. But it is a scenario that is believable. Look out for the Enough Project reporting this and adding to this report, which first surfaced last October. They are more rigorous than Invisible Children, though there is a link between them. LRA is down to perhaps less than 200 fighters and surviving on theft and small-scale ivory poaching. Surprised BBC has not found other sources on this to supplement or balance the single source. KS


LRA rebels ‘seize children’ in Central African Republic

A file photo taken on November 12, 2006, shows the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony, answering journalists questions in Ri-Kwamba, southern Sudan
LRA leader Joseph Kony is wanted for war crimes

The LRA rebel force has abducted 217 people this year in the Central African Republic (CAR), in a sharp rise in attacks, a campaign group says.

The Lord’s Resistance Army may have forced the abductees, including 54 children, to become soldiers, sex slaves or camp labourers, it said.

The spike in abductions appeared to be an attempt by the LRA to “replenish” its forces, LRA Crisis Tracker added.

It had suffered setbacks since foreign forces began pursuing it in 2011.

The US deployed 100 special forces in 2011 to support thousands of African troops searching for LRA commanders, including its leader Joseph Kony.

The LRA had lost a “large chunk of its fighting force”, and seemed to be trying to rebuild its force through abductions, said Sean Poole of the Invisible Children campaign group, which is part of LRA Crisis Tracker.

The 217 abductions since January were nearly twice the number of abductions reported last year, and it signalled a “huge change in the modus operandi” of the LRA, he told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

The LRA was formed in northern Uganda nearly three decades ago, but retreated to CAR and other countries as it came under military pressure.