THE LRA DISARMAMENT AND NORTHERN UGANDA RECOVERY ACT IS LAW!
Due to incredible grassroots and Congressional support, President Obama signed the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into law on May 24, 2010. Click here to read the press release from Enough and our partners at Invisible Children and Resolve Uganda. While there is still much to be done in order to stop the LRA, we are pleased to celebrate this milestone with you and our partners. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for action opportunities targeting the executive branch to ensure the strategy and policy that is produced is successful at helping to bring peace to central Africa.
STOPPING THE LRA
For more than 20 years, the Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony have wreaked havoc on civilian communities across central Africa. What began in 1989 as a rebellion based in northern Uganda has morphed into a regional insurgency that now terrorizes civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, southern Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
The LRA has no clear political agenda. This ruthless militia directs its violence towards civilians and attacks local communities—massacring innocents, razing villages, and abducting children and forcing them to serve as soldiers, porters, and sex slaves.
SENATE BILL PASSES, NOW ON TO THE HOUSE
On May 19th, 2009, Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduced The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, a bill that would recommit the United States to helping bring about a conclusive end to the more than 20-year reign of terror by the LRA. On March 10, 2010, the Senate passed the bill with 65 co-sponsors, more co-sponsors than any other piece of legislation on sub-Saharan Africa since 1973. The next step is for the House of Representatives, which received the bill on March 11, 2010, to pass it as well.
Initially passage of the bill on the Senate floor was delayed by Senator Coburn (R-OK) who had placed a hold on the bill. After weeks of uncertainty regarding the outcome of the legislation, anti-LRA activists protested in Oklahoma City for 11 days as part of the “Coburn Say Yes” campaign, camping out in front of the Senator’s office. In response to the grassroots pressure, Senator Coburn finally removed his hold from the bill, allowing it to pass.