Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) today introduced a Congressional resolution (H.Res. 583) spotlighting the atrocities of Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army and supporting U.S. efforts to counter the LRA.
"There is increased attention on the terror inflicted upon innocent people by the LRA -- and that's a good thing. I am hopeful that we can use this momentum as a force for change. We must do all that we can to protect innocent civilians -- especially children -- and end LRA violence once and for all. We made important strides with our legislation in the last Congress, but our work must continue," said Rep. Jim McGovern.
"Last week, an unprecedented Internet campaign brought the attention of tens of millions of Americans to the atrocities the LRA is committing. This resolution builds on past legislation and the current campaign by giving an added focus to these atrocities on children and efforts to stop them," said Royce.
Last Congress, Reps. McGovern and Royce introduced the House version of the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which passed the House with wide support and was signed into law. This legislation, which made it the policy of the United States "to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield," resulted in unprecedented actions, including the deployment of a small team of U.S. military advisors. Despite these stepped-up efforts, Joseph Kony and his top commanders remain at large.
The LRA's mutilating, abducting, and forcing individuals into sexual servitude continues. Throughout the group's history, it is estimated to have forcibly conscripted 66,000 youths.
The McGovern-Royce resolution condemns the LRA's atrocities and welcomes the steps taken to date. Importantly, it calls for stepped-up efforts to expand the number of regional forces deployed to protect civilians and pursue LRA commanders, while increasing cross-border coordination among regional governments. The resolution also calls for increased efforts to enhance the mobility and logistical capabilities of partner forces, while expanding access to telecommunications infrastructure to aid early warning efforts.