WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today praised the White House for sending in U.S. Special Operations forces and military aircraft to Uganda for the first time to help hunt Joseph Kony and put an end to his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
“Joseph Kony’s reign of terror has gone on far too long, and we cannot go on another year without bringing him and the LRA to justice,” said Inhofe. “For the past three decades, Kony and his LRA have terrorized Africa, killing more than 100,000 people, displacing more than a million Africans and abducting tens of thousands of children for his army. Over the past several years, I have met with government officials and military leaders in Africa who have united around the goal to stop Kony’s brutality and end the havoc he has caused across Central Africa. On my most recent trip to Uganda in January, I spoke with one of Kony’s wives and her daughter. She made a daring escape earlier last year with her children, and she has become a voice for the many more women and children yearning to be freed from the LRA. I am glad to see the President respond to my requests as well as the requests of many Americans to support those in Africa working to stop Kony and eradicate the LRA.”
For the past decade, Inhofe has regularly met with government officials, military leaders, and LRA defectors in Africa and has been the driving force behind U.S. legislative efforts against Kony and the LRA. His most recent trip to Africa was in January 2014, where he stopped in Entebee, Uganda, and met with the Commander of Special Operations Command Forward-Central Africa (SOCFWD-CA), and received a briefing on the latest developments in capturing Kony. He also met with local government officials as well as representatives of Invisible Children, to include three LRA defectors.
The following is Inhofe’s most recent legislative efforts in the Senate regarding Kony and the LRA:
- December 19, 2013: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014 passed the Senate and included a provision from Inhofe that authorized the Department of Defense (DOD) to obligate up to $50 million annually to provide logistical support to the national military for Uganda and other partner nations to mitigate or eliminate the threat posed by the LRA.
- August 8, 2013: Senator Inhofe and 22 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama urging the United States remain engaged with local African government to help defeat Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army and to stabilize the region.
- December 21, 2012: The NDAA of 2013 passed the Senate and included a provision championed by Inhofe that addressed the need to capture or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the LRA. Inhofe was instrumental in ensuring additional funding, aircraft, and requirements for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets for AFRICOM in order to accomplish this mission.
- March 21, 2012: Inhofe and bipartisan group of 32 other Senators introduced a resolution condemning the crimes again humanity committed by Joseph Kony and the LRA, supporting ongoing international efforts to remove Kony from the battlefield, and calling for the U.S. to continue to enhance its mobility, intelligence and logistical support of regional forces now pursuing the LRA.
- December 15, 2011: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 passed the Senate and included a provision written by Inhofe that authorized for the DOD to provide logistics support, supplies, and services to foreign forces including the Ugandan military to stop the reign of terror of Joseph Kony and the LRA.
- November 2010: U.S. Gen. Carter Ham testified before the SASC for his nomination hearing to be Commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) where Inhofe raised the issue of Kony and the LRA.
- May 24, 2010: The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 was signed into Public Law No: 111-172. Inhofe was theprinciple Republican sponsor and worked to garner attention and support that eventually led the legislation to getting passed in both chambers of Congress. Cosponsored by 64 Senators and 201 Representatives, the legislation ordered the U.S. todevelop a regional strategy to support multilateral efforts to eliminate the threat posed by the LRA and authorized funds for humanitarian relief in affected areas.
- April 2009: Inhofe visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and spoke with President Kabila expressing the critical importance he believes the partnership formed between the DRC, Uganda, and Southern Sudan is to eradicating the LRA.
- February 2006: Inhofe sponsored a bi-partisan resolution (S.Res.366) affirming the importance of increased international attention and action towhat’s happening with the LRA.
Inhofe has visited countries in Africa 132 times, more than any other Senator in the history of the U.S. Senate.
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