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EUROPEAN UNION

EN

Brussels, 19 April 2012

8955/12

PRESSE 162

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the
European Union: EU supports Joint Operations Centre to combat Kony's Lord's Resistance Army

The European Union (EU) fully supports international efforts to end the long-running campaign of terror being carried out by Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army

(LRA) and to help the populations affected by the LRA presence. The EU supports the African Union's Regional Cooperation Initiative to strengthen regional efforts to combat the LRA. It is providing financial assistance to the Office of the African Union Special Envoy for LRA issues and the establishment of a Joint Operations Centre to enable the 5,000-strong Regional Task Force from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan to act swiftly and effectively against the LRA.

The EU has provided humanitarian assistance to populations affected by LRA activities, as well as bilateral assistance to the four LRA-affected countries: to encourage defections from the LRA, protect villages, strengthen the rule of law and improve governance, and help the return and support of those displaced by the activities of the LRA. As co-chair of the International Working Group on the LRA, the EU is at the forefront of diplomatic efforts to keep the LRA issue on the international agenda. The EU condemns in the strongest possible terms the atrocities committed by the Lord's Resistance Army and calls for the arrest of Joseph Kony and other LRA leaders indicted by the International Criminal Court. The EU commits itself to remain engaged until this scourge has finally been removed.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.

Notes for editors

The EU has provided the following bilateral help to the four LRA-affected countries:

– EU Member States have made significant contributions to programmes to encourage defections from the LRA and to provide early warning radio systems to protect villages.

– The EU and its Member States are implementing a number of development assistance programmes in the LRA-affected countries, which aim at strengthening the rule of law, building local governance capacity and reintegrating former members of the LRA into their home communities.

– In northern Uganda, the EU has supported a post-conflict development programme of €87.6 million over five years, which has helped to facilitate the return of most of those displaced by LRA activities.

As part of its humanitarian aid programme in the region, the EU provides for the basic needs of the populations that are currently affected by the LRA. The EU contributed €9 million for this purpose in 2011.

The EU supports a multi-faceted approach and has encouraged the UN and AU to develop a comprehensive strategy for combating LRA activities.

* :

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

+ :

Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.


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