• April 15, 2011
  • Resolve Roundup
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Resolve Roundup: Congressional champions lead charge to ensure funding for President’s LRA strategy

In the first weeks of our S2F campaign, Resolve advocates are working dilligently to ensure our members of Congress will help implement the President’s LRA strategy.  We’ve signed the petition (more than 6,300 of us), we’ve made phone calls, and now we’re having meetings with members of Congress or members of their Congressional staffs.  We are demonstrating our commitment to the idea that the only reason to start something is to finish it.  Thanks for being part of our efforts.

The Good: House and Senate letters are circulating now to key Congressional appropriators asking them to ensure that the FY2012 budget includes enough funds for President Obama to implement his LRA strategy.

The Bad: The UN reported that deaths caused by the LRA were lower in northern Congo from January to March of 2011 than they were in the first quarter of 2010, but the number and frequency of attacks is higher.

The Ugly: According to the same report, LRA attacks have displaced more than 348,000 people in southern Sudan, northern Congo, and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Regional Security

  • InterSOS, an NGO active in LRA-affected areas of Congo and Southern Sudan, released a report with recommendations for addressing the humanitarian crisis in areas affected by the LRA, including a call for a database of LRA-related incidents and the expansion of radio networks to facilitate community early warning mechanisms.
  • According to the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Dungu-Doruma, 2,000 Congolese children who were previously abducted by the LRA are in need of assistance in order to reintegrate into their communities.
  • The U.S. State Department released its annual country-by-country human rights reports, which highlight LRA atrocities in Congo, Sudan, and Central African Republic.

Northern Uganda

  • Two of Uganda’s leading opposition leaders, Kizza Besigye and Norbert Mao, were arrested this week during nationwide “walk-to-work” demonstrations in Uganda to protest against the Ugandan government and rising food and fuel prices. Mao’s arrest sparked widespread unrest in the northern Ugandan city of Gulu, where residents reported that Ugandan military forces were deployed heavily in the town and firing at civilians. At least three people have been killed so far in Gulu, and several people – including Kizza Besigye – injured in Kampala.
  • Uganda is opening a war museum in Kitgum that aims to provide historical information about the origins of the LRA and their uprising.
  • The U.S. State Department’s Uganda human rights report details the torture and killing of protesters by Ugandan security forces.

International Community

  • Johnnie Carson, the U.S. State Department’s top Africa official, testified before the Senate Africa subcommittee that the U.S. is “in the process of providing [the Ugandan military] with some U.S. personnel who will provide them with additional training and technical support” for operations against the LRA in central Africa. He also said that the U.S. has spent “substantial millions of dollars” to provide the Ugandan military with logistical, communications and intelligence support for operations against the LRA.
  • The U.S. State Department issued a statement expressing “concern” about the arrests of Ugandan opposition leaders and calling on the Ugandan government “to respect the opposition’s right to express its viewpoints and citizens’ rights to demonstrate peacefully and without fear of intimidation.”
  • Two Senators, Robert Menandez (D-NJ) and John Boozman (R-AR), are circulating a letter among their colleagues addressed to key Senate appropriators, urging them to ensure adequate funding is available in the FY2012 budget to implement President Obama’s LRA strategy. Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA3) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE1) are are circulating a similar letter to key House appropriators.
  • Representatives and Senators who have signed these letters include Senators Barbara Boxer, Christopher Coons, James Inhofe, Jeff Bingaman, Joseph Lieberman,  Ron Wyden, Al Franken and Jeff Merkley and Representatives John Lewis, Aaron Schock, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Capauno, Gwen Moore, John Conyers Jr.,  and Sue Myrick.
  • Thirty-five members of Congress wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to appoint a Special Envoy to the Congo and Great Lakes region, and urged that this envoy help coordinate the U.S. response to LRA violence in the region.

— Paul

About the Author

Paul Ronan
Paul Ronan

Paul Ronan is Project Director for The Resolve. @pauldronan