By David Lumu and Raymond Baguma
76 members of the U.S House of Representatives have forwarded a letter to US President Barack Obama expressing their continued support for the country’s efforts aimed at ending the violence perpetuated by the Joseph Kony led Lord’s Resistance Army.
The letter was sent to Obama on August 1, days before the first-ever U.S-Africa summit where 50 heads of state from the second largest continent discussed critical issues, including security and trade.
The congressmen anchor their latest support against the end-LRA conflict campaign on the fact that “significant progress” has been registered since 2010 when the Congress passed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. The Act empowered U.S to deploy military advisors and other logistical and intelligence support towards the LRA counter campaign.
“Through U.S. support, the regional counter-LRA mission has made significant progress in denting this deadly force. The LRA has lost as much as one-fifth of its core fighting capacity and are losing valuable captives that provide much of the day to day labor for the rebel group,” the congressmen said in their letter, a copy New Vision has seen.
The Congressmen, however, argue that Kony and his counterparts remain pose a mega threat within the Great Lakes Region and the warlords still “retain capacity to terrorise innocent civilian populations by exploiting broader regional instability.”
Of late DR. Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic have faced conflicts that Great Lakes Region members states are battling to settle.
Last year, a Congress letter on the counter-LRA mission registered 75 signatures.
But, in the latest letter, the Congressmen have called upon Obama to promote security across the Great Lakes Region.
According to a recent joint report by the African Union, United Nations, European Union, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN), the continued presence of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Central African Republic (CAR) poses a serious threat to peace and stability in the country.
However the report, which is a joint assessment of the security sector reforms in CAR carried out between May 18th and 24 this year, estimates the LRA numbers to be fewer than 250 fighters.
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US congressmen write to Obama over Kony