- March 4, 2011
- Resolve Roundup
LRA attacks in central Africa are on the rise so far in 2011, with more than 50 reported raids in northern Congo and several more in South Sudan and Central African Republic. This spike in violence adds urgency to efforts by the Obama Administration to implement its strategy to stop LRA violence, which means the Administration needs to have resources in place to put it into action. Last month saw a step forward in that regard as the LRA was included for the first time ever in the President’s annual budget request to Congress. Securing this funding is absolutely critical if the strategy is to translate into concrete progress for communities vulnerable to the LRA, but Congress is increasingly threatening to cut the President’s foreign affairs budget. We know that the national deficit creates difficult choices in establishing budget priorties, but cutting efforts to stop the LRA is not something we can allow. Take a few seconds to sign this petition to prevent cuts in funding to implement the LRA strategy before reading our latest news roundup below.
The Good: Two members of Congress introduced legislation this week aimed at ensuring that the Sudanese government does not resume support to the LRA.
The Bad: The UN refugee agency reported the LRA killed 35 people, abducted 104, and displaced roughly 17,000 in northern Congo’s Orientale Province alone since the beginning of 2011.
The Ugly: The LRA carried out back-to-back attacks last week in the towns of Bamangana and Naparka with a reported total of 16 Congolese soldiers killed and 30 Congolese civilians abducted.
- The UN released a report on the impact of the LRA violence on areas of Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic in 2010. In 2010 alone the LRA carried out over 300 attacks and abducted 680 people.
- An updated report from the Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) estimates LRA forces to number close to 400, and says that two-thirds of the Ugandan military force originally sent to fight the LRA in January 2009 have been relocated to other areas.
Northern Uganda and the 2011 Ugandan National Elections
- Uganda’s Electoral Commission declared President Museveni the winner of last month’s presidential election in Uganda. Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) also retained a large majority in Uganda’s parliament.
- However, voting in the elections was marred by widespread irregularities, intimidation of opposition supporters and accusations of fraud. The Democracy Monitoring Group, an election watchdog, released a statement saying that more than 2,000 ballot boxes across Uganda held more votes than possible for the area it represented.
- Ugandan police banned protests following the release of disputed election results that declared President Museveni the winner. Opposition parties continue to dispute the election results, and some opposition leaders have called for massive street protests to overthrow the government.
- Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced a bill called the “Sudan Cessation of Support for the Lord’s Resistance Army Certification Act of 2011,” which would require the Obama administration to show that the Sudanese government is not supporting or supplying the LRA in any way in order for the country to be taken off the State Sponsor of Terrorism List.
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the Senate this week and said that the proposed funding cuts that recently passed the House would “devastate” national security and come at “unspeakable cost” in both money and lives.
- The international community had a mixed reaction to the Ugandan elections, acknowledging Museveni as the winner of the presidential poll but decrying irregularities and problems in the electoral process. Click here to read what the US, European Union and African Union said in response to the elections.