On Monday morning, more than 1,500 activists will descend on Capitol Hill to call on U.S. leaders to do their part to end Africa’s longest running conflict and stop one of the continent’s most notorious rebel groups. For over 20 years, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has terrorized Central Africa, abducting children and forcing them to be soldiers and sex slaves, torturing and massacring civilians, and destroying villages. But with commitments from our senators and representatives — as our rallying call next week states — this is “How It Ends.”
In partnership with Invisible Children and Resolve Uganda, we’re hosting the two-day event to get activists up to speed on the latest developments in the international efforts to halt the LRA rebels and begin the process of rebuilding the communities devastated by their reign of terror. On Monday, the first day of the conference, a high-level panel of experts, government officials, and prominent activists will prepare activists to be effective advocates for their cause.
Some of the notable panelists include:
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
Senator Russ Feingold, Chairman of Senate Committee on African Affairs
Betty Bigombe, Former Uganda Government Minister
Stephen Lewis, Former U.N. Special Envoy
John Prendergast, Co-founder of Enough
Kristin Bell, Actress
Melissa Fitzgerald, Actress
We’ll also lead trainings on how to lobby Congress, so that activists will have the knowledge and skills to present a compelling case to their senators and representatives and urge them to support U.S. efforts to stop LRA violence. We’ll devote the second day to meeting face-to-face with our senators and representatives and their staffs to urge them to co-sponsor the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act.
If you’re unable to attend the conference, a live video feed will be available on our website, so tune in. And even if you’re not in Washington, you can still take part in the lobby day by calling your senators and representative and urging them to co-sponsor and support the LRA bill (Senate bill 1067, House bill 2478).
With solid legislation in the U.S. Congress and the dedication of activists, we can be part of the solution to years of conflict in central Africa. Do your part next week to ensure that our government doesn’t miss this opportunity to help establish a lasting peace in this war-torn region.
For additional background on the Lord’s Resistance Army, visit our special page.