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India concerned over criminal activities of LRA

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India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said while countries in Central Africa are making steady progress to overcome the negative effects of decades of instability and conflicts, the overall socio-economic, security and humanitarian situation remains precarious.

"It is a matter of serious concern that LRA activities have increased this year, particularly in the Central African Republic and Congo.

"The LRA remains a potent threat and its criminal activities have uprooted over 4,45,000 persons from their communities in Central Africa, Congo, South Sudan and Uganda," Puri said at an UN Security Council briefing on United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa and the LRA.

The LRA is a militant group operating in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic.

He noted piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is also a major threat to maritime navigation, and trade and economic activities in several countries in Central and West Africa.

Puri said India is in agreement with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's view that any effective strategy on the LRA should focus on strengthening the capacity of national authorities, including their security forces, to expand the authority of the state and focus on overall socio-economic development in the affected areas.

Puri said international humanitarian, development and peace-building assistance to the LRA-affected areas should address the underlying causes for activities of armed groups.

The national programmes for disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration activities should be supported with provision of adequate resources and be reinforced by a long-term plan for employment generation among the affected communities.

He stressed on the need to take serious efforts to eliminate the remaining active groups and target the leadership of the LRA to bring them to justice.

"External assistance to the affected countries should be apolitical in nature and respect national sovereignty in policy as well as operational matters," he said, adding that UN Missions in the region should not be burdened further without augmentation of their resources in man and material.

Puri extended India's support to contribute to efforts to address the challenges of countries of Central African region, particularly in the fields of capacity building and human resource and socio-economic development.

He said the focus of the Security Council should lead to galvanising the international community to provide adequate resources for the national and regional endeavours, particularly in strengthening of national capacities with regards to civil administration, police and security forces and socio-economic development.

  

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