This week, the U.S. Government and the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) took additional positive steps to ensure Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) are subject to U.S. and multilateral sanctions.
On March 7, the UNSC added Kony and the LRA to the sanctions measures imposed under its current Central African Republic sanctions regime, pursuant to UNSCR 2262. The U.S., in turn, added Kony and the LRA to its Specially Designated Nationals List under its current program in the Central African Republic. Previously, the LRA was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department, and Kony was listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. This broader designation opens up further opportunities for justice, as well as serves as a symbolic message to the LRA that the U.S. continues to take its crimes and threat to regional stability seriously.
The added designations are a critical step to ensuring international attention on the crimes the LRA has committed within the context of the Central African Republic. Wanted by the International Criminal Court, Joseph Kony and the LRA are infamous for their perpetration of brutal crimes throughout many parts of central Africa, including mass killings, abductions, sexual violence, and natural resource pillage. The Central African Republic itself has seen internal violent conflict since March 2013. Sanctions are one tool at the U.S. and U.N.'s disposal to cut off resources to such entities.
The Enough Project welcomes this development from the United States and the United Nations Security Council. Their ongoing attention to utilizing international leverage points to support an end to the atrocities perpetrated by the LRA is crucial towards ensuring justice for affected communities.
Photo: Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony (AP)