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Kony’s LRA abducts more than 200 in Central African Republic 0

Rebels in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have kidnapped more than 200 people this year in the Central African Republic, a quarter of them children, human rights groups said Thursday.

Joseph Kony’s Uganda-born rebel movement, infamous for brutality and also active in northern Democratic Republic of Congo, has abducted 217 people in the CAR since January 1, according to LRA Crisis Tracker, a joint project of the Invisible Children advocacy group and The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative.

“The LRA is once again abducting children in Central Africa, betting that the international community will fail to protect those most vulnerable to Kony’s forces,” said Paul Ronan, director of The Resolve. “So far in 2016, that bet has paid off.”

Those snatched from their homes this year included 54 children, 41 of whom are captives or otherwise unaccounted for, said the new Crisis Tracker report called “The State of the LRA in 2016″.

The LRA has abducted nearly twice as many people in CAR so far in 2016 than they did in the whole of 2015, the report said, adding that it was too early to judge whether those taken would be released after serving as porters for looted goods or be forcibly integrated.

The abductions occurred despite the presence of troops in a UN peacekeeping mission in CAR, Minusca, as well as an African Union military task force and soldiers from the United States, the report said.

The LRA first emerged in northern Uganda in 1987, the year after current President Yoweri Museveni seized power, but remnants of the rebel force and its elusive leader have been driven out of the country and operate abroad.

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Photo Credits: The East African/TEA Graphics

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