by UHRC on 13/05/10 at 3:24 pm
In December, the United Human Rights Council (UHRC) invited Invisible Children and held a special documentary screening exposing the brutal civil war waged by Joseph Kony and his guerrilla group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that plagued the people of Northern Uganda for over two decades.
Attendees at the screening had signed petitions asking our government and our President to pursue Joseph Kony and other top LRA commanders, to disarm and disband his militia, and to restore stability to those areas of Africa that have been terrorized by the LRA. In January of this year, activists delivered 253,512 signatures to the State Department in support of Kony’s arrest.
After one year of intense lobbying, The LRA Disarmament Bill and Northern Uganda Recovery Act passed with more support in Congress than any Africa-focused bill in United States history. Now that Congress has passed the bill, President Obama has 10 days in which to either sign it or veto it and since the bill passed almost unanimously ” he is likely to sign it.
The bill demands that resolving this crisis be a higher priority for the United States. The bill outlines our country’s commitment to helping protect civilians, apprehend top LRA commanders, and provide assistance to affected communities. But even more importantly, it requires the President to go on the record within 180 days with a detailed strategy to help see LRA atrocities permanently ended. President Obama will be the first United States President to develop and report such a strategy in the war’s history.
The passage of this bill is historic in that it constitutes the most significant step taken by our Congress on this crisis since the conflict began more than two decades ago. This is just one example of the power of grassroots activism. The people of Uganda finally have their voices heard and it is thanks to organizations like Invisible Children and activists like you who take the time to educate yourselves and speak out about injustices.