- June 1, 2012
- From Congress
This week Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) visited Uganda to assess how U.S. and regional efforts to counter LRA violence were coming along. His stop in Uganda was part of a broader trip the Senator is making through East Africa.
Senator Coons, pictured above with Jacob Acaye and Jolly Okot of Invisible Children, is the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on African Affairs, making his visit all the more significant. A trip to the region like this is a good example of how Congress can help keep the Administration accountable for progress in addressing the LRA and to assess what kinds of additional resources and support the U.S. advisors need to succeed in their mission.
While in Uganda this week, the Senator made a point of meeting with some of the key players in the efforts to capture Joseph Kony and disarm the LRA, including General Carter Ham (head of AFRICOM) and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. He also met with commanders in the Ugandan army and the U.S. advisers in the region.
“I was encouraged to hear from commanders on the ground in Uganda about progress that’s being made in the U.S. mission to advise and assist regional militaries in the hunt for Joseph Kony,” Senator Coons said. “Kony represents the worst of mankind, and he and his lieutenants must be held accountable for the war crimes they have committed in Central Africa.”
During his visit he admired the great strides northern Uganda has made in the years since the LRA left the country. He noted that Gulu has a “brighter future ahead.”
We appreciate all that the Senator is doing to support international efforts to bring this conflict to an end so that hopefully LRA-affected communities in Central African Republic, DR Congo, and South Sudan will one day soon also see a brighter future ahead.
Senator Coons continues to be a committed and vocal champion in Congress on this issue and we are tremendously grateful for his leadership. Here’s a brief rundown of some of his contributions to the cause so far, including introducing the Kony 2012 Senate Resolution, which condemns Kony’s atrocities and calls for continued U.S. efforts to help stop LRA violence.
On a personal note, I’d also like to commend Senator Coons for his tech savvy — not something I tend to associate with many members of Congress. This video response to the KONY 2012 campaign from a group of Senators (spear-headed by Coons) and the upkeep of his YouTube channel are impressive enough, and today I found out he even has a Flickr account. What next?
P.S. If you’re from Delaware, we encourage you to take a minute to post a message on the Senator’s Facebook wall or give his office a call to thank him for his leadership on the LRA issue. I mean, who doesn’t like a little positive feedback?