Last week, the President signed into law the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009. The legislation crystallizes the commitment of the United States to help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa.
The Bill reiterates U.S. policy and our commitment to work toward a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the conflict in northern Uganda and other affected areas, including northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
Members of the administration, Congress, and the advocacy and non-governmental organizations community attended the bill signing, including Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director at Resolve Uganda, George Rupp, President of the International Rescue Committee, Linda Poteat with InterAction, Mark Schneider, President of the International Crisis Group, John Prendergast with the Enough Project, Ben Keesey, Executive Director of Invisible Children, Ugandan Ambassador, Perezi K. Kamunanwire, Democratic Republic of Congo Ambassador, Faida M. Mitifu, James Michel with USAID, and Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
The President commended the work of Members of Congress, his administration, advocacy organizations, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, humanitarian actors, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have mobilized to respond to this crisis. As the President stated, through their hard work, their reporting via websites, blogs, and video postcards, the plight of the children has been made visible to us all.
Karen Richardson is the Associate Director for International Affairs