March 02, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, during a Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) questioned U.S. Gen. Carter F. Ham, Commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), on the available force structure, current capabilities, and the ongoing operations in Africa to apprehend Joseph Kony and disarm the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
“For over 20 years, Joseph Kony and his LRA have been responsible for the displacement and murder of innocent children, women, and men in Uganda and throughout Africa,” said Inhofe. “As the only U.S. Senator to make 120 country visits to the continent of Africa, I am all too aware of the devastation caused by this terrorist group. In order to combat terror and prevent further devastation caused by the hands of Joseph Kony, it is imperative that he is found and the LRA is finally disarmed. Only then, will we be able to bring stability to Africa.
Inhofe continued, “However, with President Obama’s proposed defense cuts, I fear AFRICOM will not receive the resources necessary to adequately finish this mission. During yesterday’s hearing, General Ham reaffirmed my concern that the lack of resources is impairing their ability to locate and capture Joseph Kony and other members of the LRA. In order to successfully complete this mission, it is essential that AFRICOM have the full availability to use manned and unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. Given the size of Africa, the diversity of threats, limited number of forces, and inaccessibility to large parts of Africa, the use of ISR aircraft is critical to finally bringing Kony to justice and achieving other mission requirements in the continent of Africa.”