- May 3, 2012
- Advocates in Action
Last Friday, April 20th, a coalition of civil society leaders representing communities from across LRA-affected parts of central Africa released a call for action from around the world to help end the violence. They wrote,
“We… call on African governments, the African Union, the United Nations, human rights defenders, and other people of good will – from near and far – to demonstrate their solidarity with the populations of central Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). We are decimated; join with us.”
The leaders — who represented sixteen faith-based, human rights, and humanitarian organizations from Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic — first called out political leaders in their own countries, many of whom have sought to downplay the impact LRA violence is having on local populations. “Despite the efforts undertaken by our governments, we deplore the fact that some governments currently minimize the LRA problem, while others are indifferent to it, and still others even refuse to cooperate to put an end to the LRA phenomenon and movement,” the leaders stated.
They also called on the United States and other world leaders to act urgently, echoing the KONY 2012 policy agenda.
“We call on all capable countries and bodies to help improve our regional forces and support them in their mission to put an end to the devastation caused by the LRA… Help ensure that soldiers receive their pay, adequate food, usable and durable equipment, transport, and means of communication, so that their priority remains tracking the LRA, and not assuring their own survival.”
Local activists requested increased international investment in roads and communications infrastructure, as well as programs to support the rehabilitation of former abductees.
The same day as the letter was published, tens of thousands of people around the world gathered to participate in Cover the Night, calling on world leaders to acknowledge the violence being perpetrated by Joseph Kony and the LRA and to act to see its end.