Washington, D.C., has really stepped up its game this week in regards to the LRA. Meaningful conversations are happening and we hope that informed action will follow. This uptick in Congressional attention is largely thanks to attention and pressure from citizens like you who have called, emailed, and met with your Members of Congress. Thank you, and keep it up.
On Monday, President Obama announced that he would sustain the adviser deployment in LRA-affected areas (that’s a big deal). It was followed by a series of panel discussions at the White House on stopping mass atrocities.
Then, the Senate and House of Representatives each held a hearing to discuss U.S. policy to counter the LRA. On Tuesday, the Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs asked Jolly Okot (Invisible Children’s Uganda Country Director) and Acaye Jacob (from KONY 2012) to give their personal testimony on the actions of the LRA and what is needed to end the violence.
We appreciate Senators Coons (DE), Inhofe (OK), and Isakson (GA), for their personal commitment to stopping LRA violence and their statements on Tuesday. Their leadership on this issue has not gone unnoticed.
On Wednesday the full House Committee on Foreign Affairs met to discuss “sources of instability in Africa,” including the LRA. The key witnesses gave testimony to the progress of US efforts to protect civilians, encourage LRA defections, rehabilitate victims, and, of course, to capture Kony and bring him to justice.
In the House we express our gratitude to Representatives Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18), Berman (CA-28), Smith (NJ-4), Wilson (FL-17), Duncan (SC-3), Bass (CA-33), Connolly (VA-11), and Royce (CA-40) for speaking about the urgency of the LRA conflict and the need for thoroughness when mapping out U.S. involvement.
These are good conversations, and we hope to see swift implementation of civilian protection measures and a comprehensive strategy to end LRA violence.
Remember to keep calling your members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor the resolution to stop LRA violence. If they already have, then still call and say “thank you.” Those two words go a long way.