In October 2011, President Obama announced the deployment of nearly 100 US military advisers to central Africa to assist Ugandan and regional military forces in defeating the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group that has committed atrocities against civilians in the region for over two decades.
While just over half of the 100 advisers are based in Uganda, where the LRA has not operated since 2006, the rest are deployed to four bases in Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan, all countries where the LRA continues to threaten civilians.
In the first seven months of their deployment, the advisers have had a significant impact.1 They have helped streamline logistical and intelligence support to Ugandan military forces, now authorized by the African Union, that are primarily focused on pursuing senior LRA commanders in southeast CAR. This has led to more intense military pressure on LRA groups and enabled more LRA combatants there to escape. The advisers have established operations and intelligence “fusion centers” in forward operating locations. They have also worked with State Department field staff dedicated to counter-LRA efforts to improve crossborder information-sharing on LRA activity among both military and civilian actors, and to strengthen civilian protection efforts. US advisers and civilian staff have also played a key role in expanding “come home” messaging distributed through leaflets and FM radio broadcasts to encourage defection of LRA combatants in southeast CAR.