Mission: To help humanitarian workers, policy makers, security forces, and journalists track attacks and other atrocities perpetrated by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), as well as those of other armed groups operating in the region, in near real-time.
Background: The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is a rebel group operating in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that has been accused of widespread human rights violations, including murder, abduction, mutilation, child-sex slavery, and the forced recruitment of child soldiers. In December 2009, for instance, the LRA killed more than three hundred civilians in the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the international community didn't learn of the massacre until three months later. Due to the isolation and neglect that characterizes the northeastern DRC, eastern Central African Republic, and South Sudan, the movement and activities of various armed militias, including the LRA, are difficult to track. In 2011, Invisible Children partnered with the Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative to create the LRA Crisis Tracker.
Outstanding Web Features: The LRA Crisis Tracker is a publicly accessible mapping tool that displays up-to-date activity data on armed groups in the region, enabling users to better understand the urgency of the LRA crisis as well as the broader security threats to the region's human population, wildlife, and natural resources. Visitors to the site can see where and how the LRA and other armed groups target local communities, while individual reports contain detailed information on incidents involving armed groups in the area. The site compiles reports of attacks sent via Invisible Children’s Early Warning Network and checks it against data sourced from the United Nations, local NGOs, and field research conducted by Invisible Children and other organizations on the ground. Visitors to the site can learn more about major attacks carried out by the LRA, learn more about the community impact of those attacks, track the reported location over time of LRA leader Joseph Kony, learn more about LRA combatants, see a stream dedicated to LRA returnees, and view the group's communication with civilians and civilian sighting of LRA forces. Also available are a report archive, an explanation of the methodology behind the site, and previous media reports documenting LRA atrocities.