Sexual and Gender Based Violence

African Union Launches Initiative Against LRA but Key Questions Remain

African Union launch of LRA ops - Enough - Nenad Marinkovic

t a ceremony held in Juba several days ago, the African Union officially launched the implementation of its initiative against the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, including an A.U. military task force. However, several key details about the military task force remain unclear, raising concerns that it will essentially put a new name on current efforts by the regional governments that have been largely failing.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

A weekly round-up of must-read stories, posted every Friday.  Read More »

Enough 101: The Lord’s Resistance Army in the Congo

As part of the series Enough 101, this post is intended to provide a contextual background for understanding the complex issues that the Enough Project works on. We're publishing it today to coincide with the release of “Kony Hunter with Christopher Meloni,” a new video co-produced by the comedy team at Funny or Die and the Enough Project, to provide background on the LRA’s deadly operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Read More »

Maryland Conflict Minerals Legislation Passes House and Senate Unanimously

Maryland’s legislation addressing the use of conflict minerals from eastern Congo in electronics products breezed through an important hurdle over the weekend, passing the House of Delegates unanimously on Saturday. The State Senate passed a similar bill by a vote of 46-0 two weeks earlier, leaving only a largely procedural reconciliation process between the House and Senate bills before a final version is sent to Governor Martin O’Malley’s desk.  Read More »

Lynn Nottage: "Why did I go to Africa to collect their stories? Because I had to"

Lynn Nottage, an American playwright who is most well-known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined, shares why she felt compelled to bring the untold stories of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the stage.  Read More »

So You’ve Watched Kony 2012? Now Take the Next Step

If the hearing words “Kony 2012” doesn’t automatically ignite a spark of recognition, you are probably the last of a dwindling set of people who have not yet encountered this viral campaign taking the world by storm over the past week. As partners in the Kony 2012 campaign, Enough and Resolve have developed complementary actions that build off the massive success of the campaign and encourage new activists to go beyond awareness raising to take other meaningful steps.  Read More »

Global Post Op-ed: Next Steps You Can Take to Help Stop Joseph Kony

Kony 2012 - Global Post

In this op-ed for Global Post, I outline some steps people moved by "Kony 2012" can take to help end the Lord's Resistance Army.  Read More »

V-Day’s Eve Ensler Spotlights Congo with New Monologue as City of Joy Graduates First Class

City of Joy graduation - V-Day

March marks the end of the annual V-Day season as the last local groups at colleges and community and religious centers perform their renditions of playwright and activist Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. First performed nearly 15 years ago, the monologues were created through interviews with women around the world. Ensler compiled composite vignettes, which explore the lives of women. V-Day campaigns have grown out of the Vagina Monologues movement and serve as the activism center of the movement.  Read More »

Women, Peace, and Security: Building a National Plan for International Change

Hillary Clinton at Heal Africa - AP

In honor of International Women’s Day it is important to take stock of the national and international mechanisms in support of gendered equality and women’s rights. The U.S. National Security Strategy notes that countries are more peaceful and prosperous when women are accorded full and equal rights, and therefore it is in our national interest to support and empower women throughout the world.

To this end, the Obama administration recently adopted the first U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, officially integrating gender issues across government initiatives.  Read More »

Campaign Aiming for Arrest of Wanted War Criminal Goes Viral

Date: 
Mar 8, 2012

 

KONY 2012 campaign seeks arrest of Joseph Kony, a war criminal responsible for abduction of more than 30,000 children; campaign video viewed by 10 million people in first 48 hours

WASHINGTON DC – Nonprofit Invisible Children, in partnership with the Enough Project and Resolve, launched a year-long campaign called KONY 2012 to advocate for the arrest of indicted war criminal Joseph Kony. After launching Monday afternoon, a short film at the heart of the campaign went viral on YouTube and Vimeo and has been a trending topic across social media sites Facebook and Twitter.

“Kony is arguably the world’s worst war criminal, but he’s now widely known outside of central Africa, where communities live in daily fear of attacks by his forces. This campaign will change that,” said Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children. “Increased attention should be accompanied by increased action to stop Kony from attacking civilians.”

For 25 years, Kony has terrorized remote communities in Central Africa with an army comprised in large part of abducted child soldiers known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. Since it premiered on Monday afternoon, the KONY 2012 film has ignited worldwide attention, aided by celebrity boosters such as TV star Oprah, musicians Rihanna and Taylor Swift, and Hollywood actors such as Kristen Bell and Jason Bateman.

“People across America and around the world are tuning in to hear about a neglected human rights crisis. In a year of divisive partisan politics,” said Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director of Resolve, “this shows that pursuing Kony’s arrest is one thing we can still all agree on.”

In May 2010, Congress passed the bipartisan LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act with 271 cosponsors – more than any other Africa-focused bill in U.S. history. President Obama deployed approximately 100 U.S. military advisers to Central Africa in October 2011 to help stop the violence perpetrated by Kony and the LRA.

"With the deployment of U.S. advisors to Central Africa, there is a real chance to end the threat posed by the LRA," said John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project. "To ensure mission success, there should be additional ingredients added to the mix, including additional capable forces, enhanced intelligence support, and more transport capacity to allow regional governments to act on that intelligence. Further, an improved defection strategy is needed to entice LRA commanders and fighters to leave the group. With these supplements, the mission the U.S. troops were sent for can succeed. This will only happen with greater political will sustained by this campaign and other efforts supporting the children of Central Africa."

Today, the campaign sponsors sent a letter to President Obama outlining steps the United States can take to see Kony arrested and help communities being affected by the LRA’s brutal attacks. The letter acknowledges that current U.S. efforts to address the crisis are producing “new hope for an end to the group’s atrocities,” but argues that more must be done, including heightened diplomacy with governments in the region, additional support for efforts to capture Kony, and investment in programs that help LRA abductees escape and return to their homes and families.

Activists who join the campaign will engage 20 of America’s most influential “culture-makers” and 12 of America’s most powerful policymakers in attempts to get them on the record in favor of Kony’s arrest. They will also attend rallies and meetings with their elected leaders to promote a Congressional resolution re-committing the United States to seek Kony’s arrest.

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For more information about KONY 2012 or to watch and share the film, visit www.kony2012.com.

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