Skip to main content

The End of a Beginning: LRA Bill to Pass the US House

May 11, 2010

The House of Representatives will vote upon a measure on May 12th that should have a direct impact on the US Relations with Several Countries in Central Africa. On the agenda to be considered on that date is the LRA Disarmament Bill. This is a Bill which will have the United States officially join the effort to bring Joseph Kony leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army to face justice after two decades of conflict in Central Africa. Hundreds of Thousands of lives have been impacted by this Ugandan militia leader.

The House of Representatives will vote upon a measure on May 12th that should have a direct impact on the US Relations with Several Countries in Central Africa. On the agenda to be considered on that date is the LRA Disarmament Bill. This is a Bill which will have the United States officially join the effort to bring Joseph Kony leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army to face justice after two decades of conflict in Central Africa. Hundreds of Thousands of lives have been impacted by this Ugandan militia leader.
This Legislation is a result of Operation Lightning Thunder. This was a Military Operation conducted by the Ugandan. Southern Sudanese and the Congolese (Kinshasa) Governments after Kony failed to show up not once but twice to sign a Peace Accord with Kampala in 2008.  The Bush Administration provided Logistical support for the Operation which resulted in the fragmentation of the LRA to the point where it was conducting operations in several countries including the Central African Republic.

  The Bill was introduced into the US Senate after the LRA launched an attack on Christmas Day in 2008. This attack which occurred in Doruma led to the killing of hundreds of people. This was seen by many people as a reprisal for the offensive against the LRA.
                       
 After sporadic raids throughout 2009 it was reported that March 2010 was one of the most active months that the LRA had in its history of more than a quarter century.  In fact it was actually feared that the LRA which has had ties to the Sudanese Government in the past would actually try and influence the Sudanese Elections by conducting Operations in Southern Sudan. There have been evidence that the LRA has been conducting raids in the DRC and in the Central African Republic as well.

  There has been a large grassroots movement to bring Joseph Kony to justice for almost a decade. Since the early days of the LRA the main recruiting tool and way to replenish the ranks has been by kidnapping Children. Kony has long had the idea of creating his own “tribe”. In following this dream he has terrorized thousands. In the US it was hundreds of committed teenagers and college students that demanded enough!
                           
  There is reason for concern as well. Previous Administrations have had real cozy relationships with President Museveni. In fact the Bush Administration gave its blessings when Uganda threatened to use the LRA as an excuse to once again invade the DRC. When it passed the Foreign Aid Act this year Congress set aside funds to monitor the Elections next year in Uganda.
                                
 There are signs that the passage of this is a mere formality. Over the previous weekend Speaker Pelosi and select members of the House flew to Germany to meet with AFRICOM Head Gen. Ward and staffers. This trip would not have occurred if the passage of this bill was not expected in the near future. So this means that Military Critics may have to keep an eye on Kisangani, Juba or Djibouti. These are the most logical locations where ground forces could launch operations from or the Air Base at Kigali is another operation as well.

Sometime on May 12th the clock starts ticking for a potential increased role by the US in Central Africa. This is the end of a beginning.
                      
                    The Author Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet and comments on US Policy towards Africa. Confused Eagle can be found at confusedeagle.livejournal.com

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content1'); });

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content2'); });