Evading the endgame in an insurgency undertaking: The case of the Lord’s Resistance Army and beyond
Munyua, David O.
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The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency is Africa’s oldest, lasting for over 25 years. This work studies the LRA to find out why it has survived so long and how. A combination of empirical methods was used to analyze data related to the LRA and the countries affected by the LRA insurgency. The findings show that the LRA prolonged its insurgency by taking advantage of its environment, including elevation, watered areas, the road network, land cover, proximity to state capital, and moderate population density. The LRA also exploited the political situations in the region, such as the rivalry between Uganda and Sudan, and the fragility of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Sudan. Last, the LRA modified its organizational structure according to the political and military situations it encountered, which enabled it to adapt and evade the threat of termination. The effectiveness of these methods of survival depended on the intuition of the LRA leadership. The author recommends both kinetic methods to manhunt LRA leaders and non-kinetic (psychological) operations to degrade the LRA’s strength by encouraging mass defections from its ranks.