GeoWorld October 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 32

T he night is quiet. The family is asleep, and all is seemingly peaceful. Unfortunately, evil is almost within reach of them, and, when it touches this family in Central Africa, none of their lives will ever be the same. Before the night is over, they will all be awakened, the children will witness the murder of their parents and the burning of their village. All the children of the village will be marched at gunpoint into the bush, perhaps never to be seen again—until they have been brutalized and become puppets of evil, performing the same atrocities on the next set of victims. These are the tactics of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony, an ethnic Acholi from northern Uganda. The group's ideology and objectives are vague—they have pledged to rule Uganda by the Bible's Ten Commandments. The group uses terror to induce fear and control civilians, and it amasses sup- plies and personnel (child soldiers and sex slaves) by attacking villages. In 2005, military pressure forced LRA out of Uganda, and, although now in "exile," it operates primarily in the northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), south Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR). These regional governments lack the ability to maintain security in LRA-afflicted areas and, when combined with the area's remoteness, allow LRA to continue to demon- strate the ability to survive in this inaccessible region. GIS to Predict LRA Movement Transient populations often are associated with regional conflicts and are referred to as internally displaced persons (IDPs). Predicting them ahead of time is dif- ficult, if not impossible. The populations of remote Figure 1. The large red box depicts an area in Africa that could contain the lower 48 United States. The smaller red box is the area of LRA operations analysis, approximately 125,000 square miles or roughly 80 percent the size of California. Blue arrows represent traditional trade and smuggling routes. O CT O B E R 2O12 / WWW . GEOPLA CE .C O M 15

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of GeoWorld - GeoWorld October 2012