• March 18, 2011
  • Resolve Roundup
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Resolve Roundup: Three celebrities (including Ben Affleck) and Congressional hearings mention LRA

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.

Regional Security

Uganda

  • 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.

International Community

— Paul

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