Members of Congress calling for Obama to help defuse regional tensions
As we’ve mentioned previously, disagreements amongst the governments in LRA-affected areas are impeding efforts to arrest Kony and other senior LRA commanders and end the group’s violent attacks. Now, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress are urging President Obama to join leaders from the United Nations and African Union in weighing in personally to help defuse tensions.
A letter drafted by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Ed Royce (R-CA) — now circulating amongst Congressional offices for further endorsements — calls for President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet with Presidents from each of the LRA-affected countries during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, when each of the leaders will be gathered at the U.N. this September. Several dozen Members of Congress have reportedly already signed the letter.
The text of the letter welcomes steps taken by the Obama Administration so far, including the deployment of military advisers to the region. But it expresses concern that a “lack of cross-border cooperation between the countries affected by the LRA is jeopardizing the ability of the U.S. advisers to achieve their mission.”
Specifically, it notes that “the Democratic Republic of Congo continues to deny the Ugandan military, the primary partner of U.S. advisers, access to Congolese territory where LRA violence is most acute,” and that “Allegations that Joseph Kony has crossed from the Central African Republic to South Darfur remain unsubstantiated, but contribute to escalating tension between Sudan and South Sudan.”
This is precisely the kind of political leadership that Resolve has urged, and is needed to see Kony arrested and LRA atrocities ended. Activists should get in touch with their Representative in Congress to build further support for the letter. We’ll have instructions for how to do so postedsoon.