In a ceremony attended by Enough, Resolve Uganda, Invisible Children, and key Congressional supporters, President Obama signed into law the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Ugandan Recovery Act on Monday night.
In a statement released by the White House, President Obama commended Congress and the hundreds of thousands of Americans who mobilized to draw attention to this “unique crisis of conscience.”
“We have seen your reporting, your websites, your blogs, and your video postcards — you have made the plight of the children visible to us all,” President Obama said. “Your action represents the very best of American leadership around the world, and we are committed to working with you in pursuit of the future of peace and dignity that the people of who have suffered at the hands of the LRA deserve.”
Following the official signing in the Oval Office, the group (minus the president) met with senior Obama administration officials to discuss specifics about the comprehensive strategy that the bill calls on the administration to design. Leaving the meeting, Enough Co-founder John Prendergast remarked, “President Obama made a strong commitment today to comply with the legislative intent to produce a serious U.S. policy to bring to an end once and for all the scourge of the LRA. Our work as advocates, though, is just beginning as we must hold him to that pledge and make sure he hears that an inadequate plan is unacceptable."
In videos shot right after leaving the White House, Resolve Uganda and Invisible Children captured the enthusiasm of their representatives who attended the signing ceremony:
Enough, Resolve Uganda, and Invisible Children released a joint statement that highlighted the historic nature of the legislation, next steps, and the sentiments of the original cosponsors of the LRA bill – Senators Feingold (D-WI) and Brownback (R-KS) and Representatives McGovern (D-MA) and Royce (R-CA) – on this landmark occasion.
Thanks in large part to the groundswell of support from activists across the United States who mobilized on their high school and colleges campuses and in their hometowns, the LRA bill garnered support from 65 senators and 201 representatives, more than almost any other Africa-specific bill.