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Take Action: Congress Introduces counter-LRA Resolutions in the House and Senate

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Take Action: Congress Introduces counter-LRA Resolutions in the House and Senate

Posted by Rachel Finn on August 6, 2015

Take Action: Congress Introduces counter-LRA Resolutions in the House and Senate

On July 30, Senators Boozman (R-AR), Durbin (D-IL), and Inhofe (R-OK), along with six additional original cosponsors, introduced S. Res. 237, which condemns Joseph Kony and the LRA for continuing to perpetrate crimes against humanity, war crimes, and mass atrocities. A House counterpart, H. Res. 394, was introduced by Representatives McGovern (D-MA-2) and Pitts (R-PA-16) and twelve additional original cosponsors.  

The LRA, led by International Criminal Court (ICC)-indictee Joseph Kony, has been allowed to commit horrific acts of violence against hundreds of thousands of civilians in central and east Africa for nearly 30 years. They continue to abduct children — forcing them to be killers and sex slaves, mutilate innocent civilians, and they have been responsible for the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians across four countries.

Thanks in large part to bipartisan leadership from Congress, the U.S. government has acted over the years in response to this crisis. As a result of the unanimous passage of the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act (2010), President Obama deployed 100 U.S. military advisors to central Africa in 2011 to assist regional partners in apprehending Kony and other top LRA leaders, and permanently stopping LRA violence. Since 2011, killings by the LRA have reduced by 93%, and abductions by the LRA have decreased by 67%. Additionally, four of the top five ICC-indicted LRA commanders have been removed from the battlefield, leaving only Joseph Kony still at large.

While the United States and regional partners have had great success with the counter-LRA mission, the work is not yet done. There has been an increase in attacks by LRA forces and an increase in abductions of civilians in 2015. Joseph Kony and several of his top commanders remain at large. Additionally, more than 200,000 civilians are still displaced from their homes and many lack essential humanitarian assistance.

The current resolutions emphasize:

  1. Congress’ support for the extension of the U.S. advisor mission to support the African Union until top LRA commanders are removed from the battlefield and the LRA no longer poses a significant threat to communities in central Africa

  2. Congress’ desire for the Obama Administration to help address the issue of the LRA’s ability to enjoy safe haven in areas like the Kafia Kingi enclave, controlled by Sudan

  3. The need for continued efforts by the African Union, United Nations, and regional governments to protect civilians from LRA violence, and expanded efforts by the U.S., regional, and international partners to support the defection, return, and reintegration of LRA abductees

  4. The need for the Obama Administration to increase efforts that help prevent the LRA’s participation in illicit ivory and mineral trafficking

  5. Congress’ desire for the Obama Administration, together with regional and international partners, to develop a strategy focused on promoting lasting recovery and security of LRA-affected communities



Photo: Joseph Kony, left, & Vincent Otti, Southern Sudan, 2006 (AP Photo/Stuart Price)