The group now known as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) was formed in the 1980’s and began as a rebel group fighting for the interests of the Acholi people, primarily based in the north of Uganda. It later sought to overthrow the Ugandan government and set up a fundamentalist Christian regime. Joseph Kony is the notorious leader of the group, which is known for the mass abduction of children, as well as its brutality, massacres on villages and its cruel treatment of captives, often forced to kill or rape family members. Although the LRA and the Ugandan government agreed to cease hostilities in 2006, significant tensions and unresolved issues remain. The conflict has spread beyond Uganda’s borders into the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan, causing the DRC and Uganda to join forces in 2008 for Operation Lightning Thunder—aimed at hunting down the LRA in the DRC. In late 2012, the African Union recognised the severity of the conflict and committed a joint task force to tracking and dismantling the remnants of the LRA rebellion.