On June 19, Obama administration officials and advocacy group representatives from the U.S. and Africa met on Capitol Hill to testify before Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission about the continuing human rights crisis caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army. While government officials painted a rosy picture of the current status of the U.S. military advisors, advocates used this opportunity to sound the alarm and highlight severe shortcomings that threaten the success of the advisors’ deployment and other U.S. efforts. Read More »
Along the remote border frontiers of Congo, the Central African Republic, or CAR, and South Sudan, an underreported yet highly devastating refugee crisis continues to unfold. Hundreds of thousands of people, having fled from the vicious, predatory violence of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, eke out a precarious existence as refugees and internally displaced people in an extremely underdeveloped region of the world. In keeping with the spirit of this past Wednesday’s World Refugee Day, Enough takes a moment to reflect on the plight and courage of these individuals. Read More »
In light of mounting evidence of the Rwandan government’s support of Bosco Ntaganda and the rebellious M23 movement, the U.S. government must critically re-evaluate its military and development aid and foreign policy strategy vis-à-vis Kigali and urge further high-level investigations into the alleged incidents of Rwandan interference. Read More »
The secretary-general’s report comes at a critical time, as the first three months of this year saw a major upswing in LRA activity, with 53 LRA attacks, abductions, and other incidents reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Read More »
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo and Washington, D.C. -- Recent reports by Human Rights Watch and the United Nations have uncovered a scandal in central Africa: that Rwanda has allegedly been aiding and abetting the M-23 rebellion in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo with recruits, weapons, and ammunition. If proven true, these allegations are in violation of several international laws and agreements.
In response to these allegations, the Enough Project released this statement:
The Enough Project calls on the United States and United Kingdom, which have been Rwanda’s most prominent allies and robust international donors, to recognize the recent reports’ allegations and immediately launch a transparent international investigation into Rwanda’s involvement in the conflict in eastern Congo. Based on the outcomes of that investigation, the U.S, U.K., and other donors should review their current policy on aid structures and support to Kigali to send a clear signal that manipulation of security and political structures in eastern Congo is unacceptable.
This should be combined with a new focus on how to bring the Rwandan Hutu militia FDLR to an end, thus removing Rwanda's main stated reason for its continuing security interest in eastern Congo.
For years, the U.S. and other donor countries have overlooked Rwanda's interventions in eastern Congo, focusing instead on positive gains in development policy and economic growth within Rwanda without asking questions about how those economic gains have been generated. However, these most recent allegations of Rwanda's efforts to maintain a foothold in the Kivus cannot be ignored.
Yesterday’s statement from the U.S. Department of State on the situation in eastern Congo fails to address the gravity of the allegations against Rwanda. Further, the statement shows no indication of the U.S. taking additional steps to investigate, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer-funded initiatives to mitigate the conflict and ongoing humanitarian crisis in eastern Congo.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.
Evidence is mounting that Rwanda is supporting the new rebellion in eastern Congo, the M23, with recruits, weapons, and ammunition. The U.N., U.S., and U.K. should immediately make public their understanding of the role of Rwanda in the conflict in eastern Congo and the extent of their bilateral and multilateral relations with that country. Read More »
Enacted in 2000, Uganda’s Amnesty Act has been a helpful tools over the past decade in cutting down the size of the Lord’s Resistance Army. It offered exemption from criminal prosecution for returning rebels, who abandoned the rebellion and handed over their arms. To date more than 26,000 rebels have received a Certificate of Amnesty, enabling them to defect without fear of prosecution and resettle in their communities with government assistance. As of this week, this is no longer an option. Read More »
In late March and April 2012, I traveled to areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Central African Republic to take a closer look at the ongoing military and non-military efforts by the U.S. advisors and the national armies in the region in their fight to end the Lord’s Resistance Army. Today the Enough Project published a report, a video, and a slideshow based on the research. Read More »
The U.S. military advisors deployed against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in central and east Africa are starting to make progress in tracking the group, but serious challenges remain to make the mission a success. To assess both the progress and challenges of ongoing efforts to end the LRA, Enough Project LRA researcher Kasper Agger travelled to the Central African Republic and reports on the findings from his trip, along with an accompanying video and photo slideshow.