Congressman Royce challenges top Africa diplomat on LRA
March 27th, 2010 by michael in: Campaign Watch, Main Site
On Thursday, at a House of Representatives hearing on United States policy toward Africa, Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) challenged the US' top Africa diplomat about what our country is doing to prevent the LRA from gaining renewed support from their old patrons in the Sudanese government. A recent report by our colleagues at Enough Project alleged that a group of LRA has moved into South Darfur with protection from the Sudanese government.
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson responded, "I have to say that Kony has been elusive to the Ugandan military as Osama bin Laden has been to allied operations in the Afghan-Pakistan area. It is very difficult terrain that he is operating in, it is very difficult to go after him. The Ugandans have made a real effort, but it has been real difficult."
Calls for increased investment from the United States in attaining LRA leader Joseph Kony's apprehension have been increasing. A spokesperson for the International Criminal Court last week called for American leadership to arrest Kony, who is wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Rep Royce (R-CA)
"In the case of Joseph Kony in Uganda, he is a militia leader surrounded by armed men. We need ... the operational support of countries like the U.S., to the DRC, to Uganda, to the Central African Republic, to assist them in mounting an operation to arrest him. They have the will -- so it's a totally legitimate operation, politically, legally -- but they need this kind of assistance. And the U.S. has to be the leader," said Beatrice Le Fraper Du Hellen, special adviser to the prosecutor at the ICC.
Uganda: U.S. Legislation Authorises Military Action Against the LRA
25 March 2010
Despite harsh condemnation from US legislators in response to Uganda's draft bill criminalising homosexuality, the Senate passed a bill in mid-March that will prop up Uganda's government by authorising military action in the highly volatile region of Central Africa.
Introduced last May, the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act aims to 'support stabilisation and lasting peace' in Northern Uganda - the site of conflict between the Ugandan government and the rebel group Lords Resistance Army (LRA) since 1986. The bill calls for an assessment of options through which the United States, working with regional governments, 'could help develop and support multilateral efforts to eliminate the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army'.
While the bill allocates funding towards humanitarian aid and post-conflict justice and reconciliation processes, the primary focus in Congress is on a military strategy to 'apprehend or otherwise remove' LRA leaders. And despite the bill's requirement that the government of Uganda commit to 'transparent and accountable' reconstruction efforts, it makes no similar demands of a military operation, thereby giving a green light to extrajudicial executions. With recent reports of US military drones flying over Mogadishu to help the transitional government in Somalia to track the Shabaab resistance, we can expect a similar 'multilateral' approach to eliminating the LRA.
March 13th, 2010 by michael in: Conflict Watch, Main Site
This week, our colleagues at Enough Project shared the troubling information that elements of the LRA have moved into southern Darfur, the troubled western region of Sudan where militias backed by the Sudanese government have been accused of committing genocide. Enough Project researchers received this information from multiple, credible sources.Bashir
Then, yesterday, President Museveni of Uganda stated that Kony himself was likely among the LRA fighters in Darfur.
AFP quotes Museveni as saying, "About one month ago Kony himself disappeared. Our military said that the small group in which Kony was had disappeared into Darfur. That is what they told me."
KAMPALA (Reuters) - A Ugandan rebel leader wanted for war crimes may be in Sudan, whose President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is wanted by the same war crimes tribunal, Uganda's president said.
President Yoweri Museveni said on Friday that Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group, was forced out of the Democratic Republic of Congo about a month ago. He fled to the Central African Republic and from there to Sudan's Darfur region, he said.
"I was told by our intelligence that he disappeared to Central African Republic. He again left that place and our forces say he disappeared with a small group which is wandering in Darfur," Museveni told a news conference at his party headquarters.
Kony and Bashir are wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. The ICC issued a warrant for Kony and other senior LRA commanders, who remain in hiding.
Getting over the bill over this final hurdle – through the House to the president's desk – is going to require one last concerted activist push to add cosponsors and shore up support from a handful of influential Members of Congress. Read More »
Reports on attacks in the Central African Republic are scarce and often conflicting, creating an impression that the LRA is not very active there. However, during a recent research mission in southern CAR, I found that LRA violence has been persistent and continues to spread westward despite a strong Ugandan army presence there. Read More »
This slideshow, narrated by Candice Knezevic, the campaign manager for RAISE Hope for Congo, features photos from Join Me on the Bridge events and other gatherings held around the world in honor of International Women's Day. Read More »