LRA leader Joseph Kony: Why Obama sent US troops to Uganda to get him
The feared group LRA is responsible for the murder and rape of thousands in Central Africa. Siding with interventionist advisers, Obama sent the US troops to help remove Joseph Kony from the battlefield.
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That intervention was not favored by other administration officials more cautious about the deployment of US forces – most notably former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.Skip to next paragraph
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But this new Africa deployment, though modest in scale, would appear to bear the imprint of Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice in particular. Both women have dedicated special attention to addressing the mass atrocities committed by “terror armies” across portions of Africa, from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Uganda and South Sudan.
And both women have insisted since the early days of the Obama administration that the horror for Africa’s women of mass rapes must not be left unaddressed.
Early reactions to Obama’s decision suggest support from the “interventionist” wings of public opinion.
“By deploying these advisers, President Obama is showing decisive leadership to help regional governments finally bring an end to the LRA's mass atrocities,” said Paul Ronan, director of advocacy at Resolve, a public policy dispute resolution organization involved in Africa. “These advisers can make a positive difference on the ground by keeping civilians safe and improving military operations to apprehend the LRA's top commanders.”
Resolve’s statement was part of an announcement from a coalition of human rights and anti-genocide organizations applauding Obama’s deployment of troops.
But the decision also garnered support from the right, particularly among some evangelical Christians involved in African issues.
“I have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by the LRA, and this will help end Kony’s heinous acts that have created a human rights crisis in Africa,” Senator Inhofe said. “I have been fervently involved in trying to prevent further abductions and murders of Ugandan children, and today’s action offers hope that the end of the LRA is in sight.”
Inhofe noted that the steps Obama announced Friday were “outlined in our legislation” of 2009 that called for assisting in the “disarmament” of the LRA and in the “recovery” of northern Uganda in particular.