Entries in Lord's Resistance Army (3)


‘Kony 2012′ Campaign Against Uganda Warlord Takes Over Internet

Sam Farmar/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you logged onto Facebook at any point Wednesday, you may very well have found friends and others sharing “Kony 2012,” a 30-minute YouTube film on the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

The nonprofit charity Invisible Children Inc. uploaded the video Monday to bring attention to Kony and the rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army, which has terrorized central Africa for several years. The YouTube video currently has more than 7 million views.

The hashtag #stopkony has been trending worldwide on Twitter.

On its Facebook page, Invisible Children says it “uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in Central Africa to peace and prosperity.”

The charity came about after three Southern California filmmakers returned from Africa and released a documentary on the children forced to fight under Kony’s leadership.

In October, President Obama sent 100 troops to Uganda to help regional forces battle the LRA and capture or kill Kony.

During that announcement, he said that for more than two decades the LRA had been responsible for having “murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa” and continues to “commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security.”

On April 20, the group is asking supporters to cover their hometowns with posters calling for Kony to be brought to justice. On its website, supporters can sign a petition and contribute to the cause by buying T-shirts, posters and bracelets.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Exclusive: Obama Saw 'Obligation' to Send Troops to Uganda

The White House(JAMESTOWN, N.C.) -- On Friday, we learned that President Obama authorized the deployment of 100 Special Forces troops to Central Africa to help regional armies remove from the battlefield senior leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is known for committing horrific crimes as well as using child soldiers.

Tuesday, in an exclusive interview with President Obama, ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper asked about the “process of agreeing to deploy troops in a situation like this where you know that these Special Forces might have to return fire and they might be firing upon child soldiers.  How difficult is that as a decision to make?”

The president responded that “none of these decisions are easy.  But those who are familiar with the Lord’s Resistance Army and their leader, Mr. Kony, know that these are some of the most vicious killers, they terrorize villages, they take children into custody and turn them into child soldiers, they engage in rape and slaughter in villages they go through.  They have been a scourge on Uganda and that entire region, Eastern Africa."

“So there has been strong bi-partisan support and a coalition -- everything from evangelical Christians to folks on the left and human rights organizations -- who have said it is an international obligation for us to try to take them on,” Obama continued.  “And so given that bipartisan support across the board belief that we have to do something about this, what we’ve done is we’ve provided these advisers, they are not going to be in a situation where they are called upon to hunt down the Lord’s Resistance Army or actively fire on them, but they will be in a position to protect themselves."

“What they can do is provide the logistical support that is needed, the advice, the training and the logistical support that hopefully will allow this kind of stuff to stop,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Activists React to President Sending Troops to Africa

The White House(WASHINGTON) -- When President Obama authorized the deployment of 100 armed U.S. troops to Central Africa to help regional armies fight the Lord’s Resistance Army, he referred to legislation he’d signed in 2010 -- the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act -- which had 64 cosponsors, passed the full Senate by Unanimous Consent and the House by voice vote.

The author of that legislation, former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., told ABC News in a statement that “our legislation did not authorize the use of force by American troops anywhere,” but he noted that the bill “did call for a comprehensive approach in dealing with the Lord’s Resistance Army, which includes military, intelligence, diplomatic, and development components.”

Feingold said, “If the military advisors being deployed by the President are being used to facilitate information and intelligence sharing, including among regional militaries, that is consistent with part of what our bill was seeking. But that mission should be just one piece of a larger strategy that focuses on civilian protection in the broadest sense.”

A coalition of human rights groups applauded the president’s move.

“By deploying these advisers, President Obama is showing decisive leadership to help regional governments finally bring an end to the LRA’s mass atrocities,” said Paul Ronan, Director of Advocacy at Resolve.

“These advisers can make a positive difference on the ground by keeping civilians safe and improving military operations to apprehend the LRA’s top commanders.”

John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project, said that if “part of a larger multinational strategy, the deployment of U.S. advisers can help play a catalytic role. Missing elements include more capable forces dedicated to the apprehension of Joseph Kony and protection of civilians, and an intelligence and logistics surge from the U.S. to help those forces succeed.”

Critics highlight the fact that Obama recently went back on promises U.S. forces would be involved in Libya for "days, not weeks" -- it's been months since the U.S. and NATO forces began helping rebels battle Moammar Gadhafi's forces -- and his pledges there would be no American "boots on the ground" there.

Sen. John McCain, President Obama's former presidential rival called Obama's new foray into Africa as "worthy," but, like Sen. Feingold, complained Congress should have been notified troops were going to be put in harm's way.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio