Author: Kristof Titeca

Working paper 2020.07

While much has been written about the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), hardly any analyses focus on the rebel group’s activities in (northeastern) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – although the rebel group conducted some of the biggest massacres in its history in the country, and continues to be active there. This analysis focusses on a consistent claim which is made among many actors in the DRC: that the LRA was invited, and supported, by the Congolese authorities. This analysis reviews this claim, by zooming in on the available evidence, such as the circumstances in which the rebel group arrived in the country. It concludes that, while freelancing individuals indeed might have brokered such an agreement, institutional Congolese government support to the LRA was (most probably) not the case. Yet, it shows the murky circumstances which allowed such claims to emerge, involving war entrepreneurs, freelancing government officials, ineffective protection, and a government more interested in state security rather than human security.