- May 25, 2011
- From Promise to Peace
Back in February we released the first in what will be series of “report cards” grading President Obama’s progress on implementing the LRA strategy he released last November. It may seem strange to hand out grades to the most powerful man in the world, but the premise is actually pretty simple: citizens (that’s us) have a responsibility to hold elected officials (that’s him) accountable to the promises they make (that’s the President’s LRA strategy).
Obama’s promise to implement the strategy “vigorously, vigorously” last May when he signed our bill into law was not an ordinary promise that we can forgive and forget if he fails to come through. Whether or not he fulfills this promise is the difference between ending one of Africa’s longest running wars — or not — and the difference between whether kids in central Africa will be safe from LRA abduction — or not.
So far, Obama’s progress on following through on this promise is mixed. In Issue #1 of our report card, we raised early concerns about whether President Obama would dedicate the funding, senior leadership, and political will needed to put the strategy into action. We released Issue #2 yesterday, to mark the one-year anniversary of Obama signing the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into law (more reflections on that anniversary from my teammate Michael here). In Issue #2, we report that incremental progress in the strategy’s first six months of implementation is not living up to the reality of rising LRA violence on the ground.
The good news is that President Obama still has a chance to build on progress so far, and we’ve given him some “homework” that clearly spells out what he needs to do to improve his grades for the next report card. Read the report card (the full PDF version with details is here), and then take a moment to write a message to President Obama encouraging him to do his homework!