• September 16, 2010
  • From Promise to Peace
  • 0

Counting down to Obama’s LRA strategy

On May 24, 2010 President Obama signed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into law and issued a public statement promising to “help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa.” As required by the bill, the President’s team is now developing the first-ever comprehensive United States strategy to address the crisis.

After two decades of international neglect toward this crisis, this historic step was taken as a direct result of the mobilization of tens of thousands of American activists.  We have given our leaders a clear mandate to take serious action to finally help end the campaign of violence and mass abductions being waged by the LRA.

But this battle is not over. A huge question now looms: will the President use this mandate to  pursue a strategy that is strong enough to actually achieve peace?

Doing so would require the President and his team to dedicate a level of diplomatic and material resources that are unprecedented toward this crisis, and many U.S. policymakers still don’t think stopping LRA atrocities deserves such attention. They would prefer that the U.S. make “band-aid” contributions that improve the situation but don’t bring Joseph Kony and LRA leaders to justice or see the crisis permanently ended. If activists are quiet now, those voices could win out.

It was committed activism that created this moment of opportunity. Now, it is needed again to make sure President Obama follows through on his promise with a plan capable of achieving peace.

The due date set by Congress for the President’s strategy is November 20. That’s a short 63 days away.

Next week, we will be launching our next campaign to mobilize American citizens and Members of Congress to send the clear message that the President’s strategy must be strong enough to bring a permanent end to LRA atrocities.

Are you ready?

— Michael

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