‘Cover the Night’ to target world leaders
For more than 25 years, Kony’s crimes have devastated communities across central Africa, and international leaders have failed to dedicate the resources needed to stop him. On April 20th, activists around the world who gather to “Cover the Night” will have an unprecedented opportunity to finally change that.
In the short time since KONY 2012 was released, the United Nations and African Union announced that they will launch an ambitious new strategy to stop LRA atrocities and help the communities in central Africa most affected by the violence. But the reality is that without serious new commitments from world leaders, this plan won’t have the resources it needs to succeed where past efforts have fallen short.
That’s where Cover the Night – and you – come in. Through social media, letters, phone calls, and other actions, Cover the Night participants will seek commitments from world leaders to support the new international strategy to bring Kony to justice and restore communities being torn apart by LRA violence.
The joint plan issued by the United Nations and African Union embodies a truly comprehensive approach to addressing the conflict, something activists have long called for. It includes strengthened regional efforts to locate and arrest Kony, protect vulnerable communities, and prevent abuses by military forces themselves. It aims to help people abducted by Kony’s forces to escape and return to their homes and families. And it seeks to address the underlying factors that have allowed this violence to continue for so long by ensuring that governments in affected countries cooperate to solve this problem and by helping communities in LRA-affected areas to rebuild and heal from years of conflict.
Cover the Night participants will ask world leaders to provide increased resources to fund this plan, focusing specifically on a few of its most important – and concrete – components:
1) Building mobile phone towers and early warning networks in the remote areas where the LRA operates to help protect communities from LRA attacks and ensure they are prepared when the threat is highest.
2) Helping the African Union operation succeed in arresting Kony and senior LRA commanders and protecting the communities most vulnerable to LRA attacks and abductions by providing helicopters and logistical support.
3) Encouraging LRA fighters and abductees in the bush to escape peacefully – and helping local communities to receive them – by expanding FM radio towers and “come-home” radio programs.
By pushing for commitments from world leaders to take these simple steps, KONY 2012 aims to help communities across central Africa that are enduring LRA attacks and see Joseph Kony arrested by year’s end.
Already, the campaign is having an impact. In addition to the African Union and United Nations announcing a new plan to address the issue, 91 Members of the U.S. Congress have sponsored a resolution calling for President Obama to increase U.S. efforts since the launch of KONY 2012. Members of Congress have also committed to expand funding for programs that help LRA-affected communities and to pass new U.S. legislation that would authorize a financial reward for information that leads to Kony’s capture.
It’s time for this progress to spread around the globe, so that Kony is brought to justice and LRA violence is ended once and for all. Sign up at www.KONY2012.com, and Cover the Night.