On May 24, 2010 President Obama signed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into law and issued a public statement promising to “help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa.” As required by the bill, the President’s team is now developing the first-ever comprehensive United States strategy to address the crisis, and it will be released in the coming weeks.
This historic step resulted directly from the mobilization of tens of thousands of American activists. After two decades of international neglect toward this crisis, we have given our leaders a clear mandate to take serious action to finally help end the campaign of violence and mass abductions being waged by the LRA.
But the battle isn’t over, because it remains far from clear whether or not the President will choose to adopt the specific measures that can actually fulfill this mandate. Seeing the violence ended would require the President and his team to dedicate a level of diplomatic and material resources that are unprecedented toward this crisis, and many U.S. policy-makers still don’t think stopping LRA atrocities deserves such attention.
If activists are quiet now, those voices are likely to win out. It was committed activism that created this moment of opportunity, and now it is needed again to make sure President Obama follows through on his promise with a plan capable of seeing a permanent end to the LRA’s brutal violence. If enough people speak out once again, we can help prevent a new generation of children from being abducted by the LRA.
We launched this campaign to once again mobilize American citizens and Members of Congress who believe that this issue deserves real leadership from the President to send the clear message that the President’s strategy must be one that can actually bring a permanent end to LRA atrocities.
The first step you can take is to pledge to read the President’s strategy yourself and continue holding your leaders accountable to their promise to help see this crisis ended. They won’t pay attention to this crisis unless they know we’re not going away until we see the action needed to make peace a reality.
Then, ask your Members of Congress to do the same. They unanimously passed the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, declaring that seeing justice for the crimes being committed by the LRA should be a real priority for our country. Your elected leaders can live up to those words by pledging to read the President’s strategy themselves, and holding him accountable to develop a comprehensive strategy truly capable of achieving peace.
We’ll provide you with a scorecard before the strategy is released, clearly defining what an effective strategy should look like so you can judge for yourself whether or not our leaders are living up to their words.
Through firsthand field research, interviews with community members and leaders across central Africa, and consultation with our partners, Resolve has developed a comprehensive platform that -- if incorporated into the President’s strategy -- represents serious leadership from the United States and provides a real chance of achieving a permanent end to LRA atrocities.
Our plan involves five primary elements, including:
1. A clear international strategy to bring Joseph Kony and the LRA’s top leaders to justice.
2. An outline of the diplomatic and material resources needed to help protect communities who are being targeted by LRA violence.
3. A plan to increase the number of LRA abductees who escape or can be rescued.
4. Expanded emergency relief for the hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes by ongoing LRA attacks.
5. Higher level leadership from the President’s team and an increased number of U.S. officials dedicated to the issue until the crisis is resolved.
For a comprehensive report that outlines the needs and solutions in greater detail, read Resolve's newest publication “From Promise to Peace: A Bluerprint for President Obama's LRA Strategy."
In addition, be on the lookout for a scorecard that will help you grade the specifics in the President’s strategy when it is released.