Key House committee passes Kony resolution
Thursday, a key committee in the House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for increased action by the Obama Administration to stop LRA atrocities. H.Res 583, known as the “KONY 2012 Resolution” and drafted with Resolve’s support in the wake of the KONY 2012 campaign, was passed unanimously in the committee. It now awaits a full vote in the House of Representatives.
H.Res 583 demonstrates that Congress remains far ahead of the President in seeking action to address the LRA crisis. The text of the resolution welcomes the deployment of U.S. military advisers to help protect civilians and bring top LRA commanders to justice, and calls for additional measures to ensure the effort can succeed.
Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), the original sponsor, shared his excitement with our team. “The Foreign Affairs Committee’s approval of this measure is a great step forward for human rights. The LRA resolution sends a strong message that the United States remains determined to end the LRA’s reign of terror.”
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who chairs the Committee on Foreign Affairs that passed the resolution, acknowledged the important role of activist voices. “I want to especially thank all of the young student activists in my District and throughout the country for their continued and tireless efforts to raise awareness about Kony’s atrocities… H.Res. 583 echoes current law and continues the momentum ignited by so many young people across the country and I am pleased to support this resolution.”
Since March, when the resolution was introduced, thousands of activists across the country have sent e-mails, made phone calls, and attended meetings with their elected representatives to show support for the resolution. As a result, it has accumulated 70 bipartisan cosponsors.
Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), who introduced the resolution alongside Representative McGovern, expressed confidence the effort would succeed.
“The LRA continues its reign of terror in central Africa – abducting, killing and mutilating. It is long past time that Joseph Kony and his commanders be stopped once and for all… Months ago, many did not know the name Joseph Kony – now millions do. A large spotlight has been cast on his evil. He will be found. He will get justice,” Royce said.
Representative Howard Berman, the top Democrat on the Committee, emphasized the need for U.S. efforts to end LRA atrocities to adopt a comprehensive approach. “This resolution underscores our support for U.S. and international efforts to stop the LRA and bring Joseph Kony to justice. It also emphasizes the importance of regional cooperation, local capacity building, civilian protection, and recovery programs, which will be necessary even after Kony and his allies are removed from the battlefield.”
A companion resolution, S.Res.402, awaits action in the Senate as well.