File photo of Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony taken on Nov. 12, 2006. Photo by Stuart Price/AFP/Getty Images.
President Obama is sending 100 military advisers to Uganda to help with the search for notorious leader Joseph Kony and other members of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
The LRA is known for kidnapping children and forcing them to fight in the army, using girls as sex slaves and mutilating its victims. African troops have been searching for Kony for more than 20 years. He has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Mr. Obama said in an open letter to Congress:
“I have authorized a small number of combat equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield. I believe that deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter LRA efforts in central Africa.
Although the U.S. forces are combat equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self defense.”
Read his entire letter to Congress.
Ugandan soldiers search for Joseph Kony in the Congolese jungle in 2010. Photo by Ben Simon/AFP/Getty Images.
A 2007 NewsHour report looked into why past cease-fire negotiations between the LRA and Ugandan government failed, and how communities in Uganda are trying to recover from the atrocities they experienced:
“Drive just four hours north of Kampala, and you cross the Nile River; you also cross into a different kind of country, one untouched by the Uganda success story, a place where years of torment by the LRA have bred poverty and illness, a place where 90 percent of the population, close to 2 million people, has fled to densely packed displacement camps for fear of their lives,” NewsHour special correspondent Kira Kay reported.
View the full report.