FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 3, 2012
CONTACT: Alexandra Barniea (Coons) at 202-224-5042
Senate condemns crimes of Joseph Kony and Lord’s Resistance Army
Unanimously passes bipartisan resolution sponsored by Senators Coons and Inhofe Thursday night
WASHINGTON – The United States Senate unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday night condemning the crimes against humanity committed by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), supporting to ongoing international efforts to remove Kony from the battlefield, and calling for the U.S. to continue to enhance its mobility, intelligence and logistical support of regional forces protecting civilians and pursuing the LRA. The resolution was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and was cosponsored by 45 of their colleagues.
“As Secretary Clinton arrives in Uganda to speak with President Museveni about regional security cooperation and joint counter-LRA efforts, the Senate unanimously affirmed that the United States will continue to support African-led operations to end the LRA’s reign of terror and remove Joseph Kony from the battlefield,” Senator Coons said. “Kony and the LRA have terrorized Uganda and its neighbors in central Africa for more than two decades, tearing families apart and destroying communities. Joseph Kony represents the worst of mankind, and he and his commanders must be held accountable for their war crimes. I applaud my colleagues for unanimously passing this bipartisan resolution condemning the crimes committed by the LRA and supporting ongoing regional efforts to bring Kony and top LRA commanders to justice once and for all.” Senator Coons is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.
“This resolution reinforces my important legislation that we passed in 2011 called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act,” Senator Inhofe said. “It further puts the Senate on record against the terror acts of Joseph Kony and his LRA. They have been responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent victims and the displacement of over one million people. We must keep the pressure up to help Africans bring these heinous acts to an end. As Africa continues to be susceptible to the spread of extremist ideology, we must prevent the continent from becoming the new home of terrorist organizations. Bringing Kony and the LRA to an end will remove a major destabilizing force while providing better security for the people of Africa.” Senator Inhofe is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The resolution, S.Res.402, does the following:
- Supports the efforts of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and other regional governments, as well as the African Union and United Nations, to end the threat posed by the LRA;
- Supports continued efforts by the United States to strengthen the capabilities of regional military forces deployed to protect civilians and pursue commanders of the LRA; as well as to enhance cooperation and cross-border efforts to increase civilian protection and provide assistance to populations affected by the LRA;
- Calls on the U.S. to utilize existing funds for ongoing programs to enhance mobility, intelligence, and logistical capabilities for partner forces engaged in efforts to protect civilians or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield;
- Calls on the President to keep Congress fully informed of U.S. efforts and to work closely with Congress to identify and address critical gaps in efforts to counter the LRA.
Hundreds of Americans signed on to S.Res.402 as “citizen cosponsors” to show their support for efforts to stop Joseph Kony. Their names were entered into the Congressional Record last month.