For more than a year, the United States has provided logistical and equipment support to Uganda and three of its neighbors in their efforts to disarm and break up a brutal rebel group that has terrorized central and eastern Africa for almost 20 years.
The group, calling itself the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, was formed in 1987 to overthrow the Ugandan government and set up a theocratic state. In 2006 it was driven out of that country into areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and southern Sudan. Brutal LRA attacks and raids in these two countries as well as the nearby Central African Republic have led to the loss of thousands of lives and almost unspeakable human rights abuses.
The raids prey on civilians and kidnap children, forcing them to become servants, porters, fighters and sex slaves. Thousands of people have been killed in the struggle and hundreds of thousands displaced. Led by a self-declared spokesman of God, Joseph Kony, the LRA's actions are on par with some of the most barbaric acts in human history.
The United States has followed the situation closely, and is providing some logistical support and equipment to the Ugandan government in its efforts to contain the LRA. A recent act of Congress signed into law by President Barack Obama underscores the U.S. commitment. The new law will ensure efforts continue to focus on protecting and aiding civilians caught in the turmoil created by the LRA, aiding LRA members who want to leave the group, and bringing Kony and other top LRA members to justice.
In partnership with regional governments and multilateral efforts, the U.S. is committed to help bring a comprehensive and lasting resolution to one of Africa's longest running and most tragic conflicts.