- March 18, 2011
- Resolve Roundup
Over the past two weeks, actors Ben Affleck and Mia Farrow and British news correspondent Martin Bell turned their attention to issues involving the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). As George Clooney often points out, sometimes a little celebrity attention will help direct others to an important issue. Based on news coverage, these three celebrities brought needed attention to communities targeted by the LRA.
On March 9, Ben Affleck, founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, lent his star power to issues affecting Congo during an appearance before the House Africa subcommittee on Capitol Hill.
Since the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has increased attacks and atrocities throughout the region in recent months, the hearing became an opportunity to remind political leaders of the violence affecting these communities and how U.S. involvement can help end the crisis.
Meanwhile, in Juba, South Sudan, Mia Farrow and Martin Bell ended an 8-day visit via UNICEF where they witnessed the effects of LRA violence on the region and advocated for an increase in security for the children of the region.
The Good: Radio shows targeting LRA fighters are encouraging LRA fighters to defect.
The Bad: Khartoum rejected the idea that any additional restrictions be applied to their removal from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List (SSTL) following legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure any evidence of LRA connections to Khartoum would keep them on the list.
The Ugly: The LRA continues to carry out attacks in Central African Republic with at least 6 people killed and 30 abducted in an attack earlier this week.
- The local population and aid workers are increasingly in danger as security in Bas Uele and Haut Uele deteriorate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- In response to massive attacks in Bamangana in February in the Bas Uele region of the Congo, the U.N. deployed hundreds of peacekeepers to the region.
- Overall the LRA has been much more active recently. Check out the Enough Project’s most recent recap.
- Women who escaped the LRA and returned to their homes in Uganda often face being ostracized by the community and a face lack of opportunity. The women are forced to turn to other means to support their families.
- Protests against the recent elections turned violent when police attempted to disperse the crowds using tear gas and live ammunition. Ten people were arrested.
- Food and water shortages are approaching for thousands of Ugandans across the country.
- Actor Ben Affleck helped bring attention to the LRA and other crises going on in the Congo during a hearing on capitol hill. Meanwhile, in Juba, South Sudan, Mia Farrow and Martin Bell ended an 8-day visit via UNICEF where they witnessed the effects of LRA violence on the region.
- A recent bill introduced into the House of Representatives evoked a response from the Khartoum government. The new proposal requires the Sudanese government to prove it is not funding or supporting the LRA in any way.
- General Carter F. Ham visited Africa for the first of many times as the new commander of AFRICOM, the branch of the U.S. military in Africa. He emphasized the U.S. priority of playing a supporting role in the apprehension of Joseph Kony