For the first time, the United States has announced a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking and a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory. This new strategy aims to “ensure that the United States is not contributing to poaching of elephants and illegal trade in elephant ivory.” Essentially, the U.S. ban prohibits commercial imports and exports in the hopes of leading a global effort to effectively protect and preserve our world’s wildlife and develop respect for the rule of law.The announcement also pledged to work closely with Congress to strengthen existing laws that combat wildlife trafficking and to adopt new ones to increase our ability to end this global challenge. Read More »
U.S. military advisors and their African partner forces are facing increased difficulties in their mission to end the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, and to capture rebel leader Joseph Kony, because of heightened regional instability and insufficient helicopter support.
Kampala, Uganda and Washington,DC — U.S. military advisors and African partner forces are facing new difficulties in their mission to end the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, and to capture rebel leader Joseph Kony, because of heightened regional instability and insufficient helicopter support, argues a new Enough Project report. Drawing on field research and interviews, the report, “Counter-LRA Mission Challenged by Regional Turmoil,” analyzes the effect of intensifying conflict in South Sudan and the Central African Republic on the LRA’s tactics and the counter-LRA mission’s resources.
The report’s author, Uganda-based Enough Project field researcher Kasper Agger, says:
“Violence in CAR and South Sudan is diverting attention and military forces from counter-LRA operations and providing a dream scenario for LRA rebels to hide and avoid capture. International resolve to end the LRA must be sustained. History has shown that when the pressure is off, the LRA rebuilds its forces through violent abductions and target vulnerable civilians.”
The counter-LRA mission also faces air transportation needs that exceed capacity. African troops and U.S. advisors need additional helicopters to be able to act on timely intelligence, conduct simultaneous operations to track top commanders in multiple locations, resupply deployed troops, protect civilians, and facilitate emergency evacuations. The new report argues that the U.S. government should send additional helicopters that have the speed, versatility, and transport capabilities that could best serve the mission and help counter-LRA forces keep pace with highly mobile LRA rebel groups that operate in vast and isolated areas.
The report also urges the U.N, African Union, European Union, and U.S. to maintain their current levels of financial, military, and diplomatic support for the AU-led efforts against the LRA to sustain momentum in the counter-LRA mission.
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.
As this year comes to a close we remember the moments, both good and bad, which shaped our ongoing work to end crimes against humanity and mass atrocities in 2013. Take a minute to reflect on the successes of this year and our continued efforts in 2014 to make strides toward peace. Read More »
Kony is spreading his killing fields to elephants. In a bid to raise revenues from the lucrative, illicit regional ivory trade, Kony and his troops now target elephants, particularly those in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Garamba National Park, a U.N. World Heritage Site and one of the oldest, most diverse parks in Africa. Read More »