H.Res. 583 (112th): Expressing support for robust efforts by the United States to see Joseph Kony, the leader of the ...

...Lord’s Resistance Army, and his top commanders brought to justice and the group’s atrocities permanently ended.

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Mar 13, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

IV

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 583

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 13, 2012

(for himself and Mr. Royce) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

RESOLUTION

Expressing support for robust efforts by the United States to see Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, and his top commanders brought to justice and the group’s atrocities permanently ended.

Whereas in February 2007, the World Bank estimated in its report, Development and the Next Generation, that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) forcibly recruited some 66,000 youth of all ages and sexes over the prior two decades from northern Uganda;

Whereas since September 2008, Joseph Kony has directed the LRA in systematic, large-scale attacks against innocent civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and the newly formed Republic of South Sudan that have destabilized the region and resulted in the—

(1)

deliberate killing of at least 2,400 Congolese, Central African, and South Sudanese civilians, many of whom were targeted in schools and churches;

(2)

rape and brutal mutilation of an unknown number of men, women, and children;

(3)

abduction of over 3,400 civilians, including at least 1,500 children, many of them forced to become child soldiers or sex slaves; and

(4)

displacement of more than 465,000 civilians from their homes, many of whom do not have access to essential humanitarian assistance;

Whereas insecurity caused by the LRA has undermined efforts by the governments in the region, with the assistance of the United States and international community, to consolidate peace and stability in each of the countries affected, particularly the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the newly formed Republic of South Sudan;

Whereas LRA leader Joseph Kony was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by President George W. Bush pursuant to Executive Order 13224, and found by the Secretary of State to pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the security of United States nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States;

Whereas, on October 6, 2005, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants against Joseph Kony and his top commanders for war crimes and crimes against humanity, yet they remain at large;

Whereas hundreds of thousands of Americans from across the country, especially youth activists, have expressed outrage at the atrocities of the LRA and called for renewed efforts to bring an end to their violent activities;

Whereas in May 2010, Congress passed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 (Public Law 111–172) with widespread bipartisan support;

Whereas Public Law 111–172 made it the policy of the United States to work with regional governments toward a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the conflict in northern Uganda and other affected areas by providing political, economic, military, and intelligence support for viable multilateral efforts to protect civilians from the LRA, to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield in the continued absence of a negotiated solution, and to disarm and demobilize the remaining LRA fighters;

Whereas, on November 24, 2010, as mandated by Public Law 111–172, the White House issued its Strategy to Support the Disarmament of the Lord’s Resistance Army, providing a comprehensive guide for United States support across the affected region to mitigate and eliminate the threat to civilians and regional stability posed by the LRA;

Whereas, on October 14, 2011, the President notified Congress that, consistent with the United States strategy, he had authorized a small number of United States military personnel to deploy to the region to serve as advisors to national military forces pursuing the LRA and seeking to protect local populations;

Whereas the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112–81) authorized the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to provide logistic support, supplies, and services for foreign forces participating in operations to mitigate and eliminate the threat of the LRA;

Whereas the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112–74) directed the Administration to support increased peace and security efforts in areas affected by the LRA, including programs to improve physical access, telecommunications infrastructure, and early warning mechanisms and to support the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former LRA combatants, especially child soldiers;

Whereas the United Nations and African Union, acting with encouragement from the United States, have renewed their efforts to help governments in the region address the LRA threat, and on November 22, 2011, the African Union designated the LRA as a terrorist group and authorized a regional cooperation initiative to end LRA atrocities;

Whereas despite these efforts, governments in the region have not yet been successful in apprehending or removing Joseph Kony or his top commanders from the battlefield or ending the group’s threat to civilians and regional security; and

Whereas targeted United States assistance and leadership can help prevent further mass atrocities and curtail humanitarian suffering: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

condemns the LRA’s continued senseless atrocities, and calls for renewed, robust efforts by the United States, governments in the affected region, and the international community to bring an end to the LRA’s terror once and for all;

(2)

commends American citizens for their concern and creative efforts to help the communities affected by the LRA;

(3)

welcomes and encourages the Ugandan and other regional governments, as well as the African Union, for their efforts to end the LRA threat;

(4)

welcomes United States ongoing efforts to implement a comprehensive strategy to counter the LRA, in line with Public Law 111–172, and to assist governments in the region to bring Joseph Kony to justice and end LRA atrocities;

(5)

calls on the Administration to keep Congress fully informed of its efforts and to work closely with Congress in 2012 to address critical gaps and enhance United States support for the regional effort to counter the LRA;

(6)

calls on the Secretary of State and heads of other government agencies to undertake diplomatic efforts with partner nations focused on—

(A)

expanding the number of capable regional military forces deployed to protect civilians and pursue LRA commanders;

(B)

enhancing cooperation and cross-border coordination among regional governments; and

(C)

promoting increased contributions from European and other donor nations for regional security efforts;

(7)

calls on the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the heads of other government agencies to utilize existing funds to address shortcomings in current efforts, especially by—

(A)

enhancing mobility, intelligence, and logistical capabilities for partner forces engaged in efforts to protect civilians and to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield;

(B)

expanding physical access and telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate the timely flow of information and access for humanitarian and protection actors; and

(C)

providing increased opportunities for LRA commanders, fighters, abductees, and associated noncombatants to safely escape and defect from the group, including through radio and community programs;

(8)

calls for the United States to place restrictions on any individuals or governments, including the Republic of Sudan, found to be providing training, supplies, financing, or support of any kind to Joseph Kony or the LRA;

(9)

stresses the importance that civilian protection be prioritized and that steps be taken to keep communities vulnerable to LRA attacks informed about known LRA movements and threats;

(10)

notes the increased number of people who have been released or escaped from the LRA’s ranks since October 2011 and calls on governments in the region and the international community to push for greater defections from the group; and

(11)

urges the governments of Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of South Sudan, Republic of Sudan, and Central African Republic to work together and redouble their efforts to address the LRA threat.