A radio project initiated by Invisible Children to lure the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels out of the bush has led to protests in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Invisible Children last year set up radio stations in areas that the
LRA rebels are operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the
Central African Republic. The radio stations which broadcast on FM band
were set up with the objective of disseminating messages urging members
of the LRA group to abandon rebellion and return to resettle in their
The radio project is however yet to register success in the fight
against the Joseph Kony led LRA insurgency. Jolly Okot Andruvile, the
Regional Ambassador says the Congolese don’t want the messages to be
aired out in the local radios because they are in Acholi dialect, the
language spoken by the brutal rebels.
Okot says Invisible Children had hoped to reach out to the rebels in
Acholi dialect which is spoken by a majority of the combatants
Okot says other challenges that are hindering defections among LRA
include failure by the Kinshasha government to recognize that the LRA
are living in the Garamba National Park and the hostility that the
Congolese government forces have towards LRA returnees. Okot says the
Congolese army has been harming the LRA rebels who surrender to them.
Meanwhile several LRA rebels in Congo have reportedly expressed interest in giving up rebellion.
Reverend Father Ernest Sugule, the Coordinator of Solidarité et
Assistance Intégrale aux Personnes Démunies-SAIPD, a local NGO says
locals in Dungu say the rebels are becoming friendly and no longer
Sugule says the rebels now request for foodstuffs unlike in the past
when they would loot. He says a week ago an LRA rebel reportedly
approached villagers and requested that he be given a bicycle to ride
around the village.
He says the rebel later returned the bicycle after three days.