KONY 2012 sponsors issue campaign policy manifesto
In the past two days, the KONY 2012 campaign has generated unprecedented attention to the crimes being committed against communities across central Africa by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Millions have become newly aware of the urgent task of seeking peace.
Today, we joined with our partners at Invisible Children and the Enough Project to issue a policy manifesto for the campaign, in the form of an open letter to President Obama. In the coming days, we’ll be inviting advocates to join us in taking the campaign message offline and into the halls of Congress to ensure our leaders hear it, loud and clear.
Download the letter in full here. Some key excerpts:
“The comprehensive White House strategy that you released in November of 2010 to address this issue included a range of measures intended to help reduce and mitigate the effect of LRA violence in the region, and produced new hope for an end to the group’s atrocities. Through its implementation, your Administration has helped improve cooperation among regional governments, expanded programs that provide early warning of LRA attack to vulnerable communities, and invested increased resources in efforts to help LRA fighters and abductees defect peacefully. Your decision to deploy U.S. military advisors to the region in October of 2011 was a welcome measure of further assistance for regional governments in their efforts to protect people from LRA attacks…
“However, we fear that unless existing U.S. efforts are further expanded, your strategy may not succeed… In the coming months, hundreds of thousands of Americans will be mobilized through KONY 2012 to provide your Administration with a clear mandate to address these shortcomings. Campaign supporters will be hosting film screenings and discussion forums within their communities, meeting with their representatives in Congress, attending Presidential campaign events, and more. While much of KONY 2012 will focus on the goal of seeing Joseph Kony brought to justice, our true objective is the complete end of LRA atrocities and sustainable recovery for affected communities. In that vein, we hope your Administration will consider taking a few key measures in the weeks and months ahead.”
The letter goes on to advocate for the Obama Administration to:
- Sustain the deployment of U.S. advisors in the region until Kony and other senior commanders are arrested, and LRA fighters and abductees demobilized;
- Heighten diplomacy with regional governments, in cooperation with the African Union, to ensure they are committed to addressing the issue; and
- Expand investment in programs that provide early warning to communities at risk of attack by the LRA and help LRA fighters and abductees escape peacefully.
You can read more about the basis for these recommendations in my teammate Paul’s latest report, “Peace Can Be: President Obama’s Chance to Help End LRA Violence in 2012,” based on three months of field research in LRA-affected areas of central Africa in late 2011.
Helping communities being targeted by LRA attacks is why we launched the KONY 2012 campaign. And by convincing our leaders to adopt these measures — which can prevent further LRA violence and help bring the group’s leaders to justice — that’s exactly what we can do.