Congress invites activists to join LRA hearing via Twitter
Yesterday, we told you about many of the actions Congress has taken to respond to the Kony 2012 campaign. This week, among the LRA-focused activity on Capitol Hill was an official hearing on Joseph Kony and the LRA before the Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs, chaired by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) who has been major champion on this issue.
Administration officials from the State Department, USAID, and the Department of Defense briefed Senators on the progress of US efforts to help stop LRA violence, bring top LRA commanders to justice, and support the recovery of affected communities. In addition, Invisible Children’s Regional Ambassador, Jolly Okot, and former LRA-abductee — and Kony 2012 film star — Jacob Acaye bravely shared, in detail, about how LRA violence has affected them personally and why they are committed to advocate for those in DR Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic who are currently suffering from LRA violence. You can watch the entire hearing, including Jolly and Jacob’s powerful testimonies, here.
In the mean time, we also want you to know about a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the LRA and other sources of instability in Africa that will be occurring tomorrow, Wednesday, at 10am. What makes this hearing extra special is that you get to participate, right from your own home.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee allows regular folks like you and me to post questions online that we would like to see asked — and answered — at the hearing. The committee will read through all of the questions and seek answers to as many as possible from the testifying witnesses.
Do you have any LRA-related questions for the Obama Administration? Submit them here.
The witnesses testifying at the hearing tomorrow will include:
Donald Y. Yamamoto, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs;
Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State; and
Amanda J. Dory, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense.
Tomorrow’s hearing is a great opportunity to have your questions answered by some of President Obama’s top aides working on the LRA issue — and it’s a chance to show Congress and the Obama Administration that activists like you are serious about this issue and you are paying attention to what our leaders are doing about it.
Here are some questions you might consider asking:
1. What is the Obama Administration doing to help make sure that the regional governments in LRA-affected areas are working together to help apprehend Joseph Kony and stop LRA violence?
2. What is the U.S. government doing to help support the protection of civilians in LRA-affected areas at the same time that it is helping to apprehend top LRA commanders?
3. What is the U.S. doing to help ensure that Joseph Kony is not able to find a safe haven in areas like Darfur?
Those are just some example questions for you, but you may have a few of your own. Take a moment today to submit your questions here and make sure check in with us later this week for an update on how the hearing went — and if your questions got answered.