Editor's Note: This blog is an amended version of the one originally posted by Invisible Children, which can be found here.
Yesterday, Enough Project partner organization Invisible Children launched the "Kony in Kafia Kingi" campaign
For the past two years, Kony has frequently received safe haven in a Sudanese-controlled territory called Kafia Kingi on the border of South Sudan and Central African Republic (CAR). However, it’s nearly impossible to get to him there. Kony has strategically chosen to hide in this region because it’s largely out of reach of the United States and African Union troops who are pursuing him. He’s able to hide out while ordering other LRA groups to continue to commit violence in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR).
Nine years ago this month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced its very first indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity — and it was for a man named Joseph Kony. Since then, Kony has continued to evade capture and order his LRA fighters to violently attack civilians across central Africa. In light of this nine-year anniversary of Kony’s ICC indictment — and with the countdown to the 10th anniversary now underway, our partners at The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative released a fascinating report detailing Kony’s movements since his indictment, including his recent presence in a region called Kafia Kingi.
This report is a call to action. Even though Kony has been at the very top of the ICC’s list of wanted war criminals since 2005, he has continued to kill, kidnap, and terrorize thousands of civilians across central Africa with impunity. This has been largely due to Kony’s ability to enjoy safe haven in Kafia Kingi, an incredibly remote area under Sudanese control that is out of the reach of African Union and U.S. forces pursuing Kony.
We have one year to ensure that the 10th anniversary of Kony’s indictment is a celebration of justice, rather than an indictment on the international community for our collective failure to stop him. It all depends on you taking action today.
You can take action. There are 10 international leaders who have the power to make sure Kony can no longer hide in Kafia Kingi and evade justice — and that message can be sent through twitter. With their help, we can end Kony’s violence and finally bring him to justice.
Ambassador Samantha Power – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN)
As the liaison between President Obama and the UN, Ambassador Power can engage the policymakers who have influence over the central and East African region to ensure Kony is no longer protected in Kafia Kingi.
Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield – Department of State Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs
She can engage with the Ugandan government to ensure they remain committed to protecting civilians from LRA attacks.
Lt. Gen. Jackson Tuwei – African Union Special Envoy for the LRA
He helps coordinate the efforts of all countries affected by the LRA violence. He can travel to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and encourage the Sudanese government to cooperate with the African Union’s efforts to apprehend Joseph Kony.
Abdoulaye Bathily – UN Envoy for the LRA and central Africa
He is responsible for coordinating the UN agencies responding to the LRA crisis with humanitarian aid, peacekeeping missions, and defections programming. In a report to the UN Security Council due this November, prepared by his office, Mr. Bathily can clearly highlight the existing evidence that Kony is in Kafia Kingi, and include proposals on how the UN can better investigate these allegations and respond to them.
Susan Rice – White House National Security Adviser
Besides President Obama, Ambassador Rice has the highest authority over what the U.S. government can do to track down Kony. We want her to instruct and equip the Department of Defense with all necessary resources and intelligence gathering tools to track LRA movement and apprehend Kony from his safe-haven in Kafia Kingi.
General David Rodriguez – Head of the U.S. Africa Command
He is responsible for managing all U.S. military activity on the African continent. We want General Rodriguez to authorize the deployment of long-range helicopters and surveillance tools to assist the U.S. and African Union troops in tracking and pursuing Kony and other LRA groups in Kafia Kingi and remote areas of Central African Republic.
Representative McKeon (R-CA) – Chair of House Armed Services Committee
Senator Levin (D-MI) – Chair of Senate Armed Services Committee
Representative Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) – Chair of House Defense Subcommittee
Senator Durbin (D-IL) – Chair of Senate Defense Subcommittee
These four committee leaders in the U.S. Congress are charged with deciding the annual budget for the U.S. military and they have significant influence over the authorization and allocation of funding for the long-range helicopters and surveillance tools needed to track and pursue Kony in his safe-haven in Kafia Kingi.