WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) today heralded the Senate’s unanimous passage of his resolution calling for action against the murderous but much ignored Northern Ugandan terrorist group, the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army.’ Inhofe’s Senate Resolution (S. Res. 366) received broad bipartisan support with 43 cosponsors.
“The words in this resolution are long overdue, and are only the beginning. Thus far, the action of the United Nations has been woefully inadequate. Words are not nearly enough. We need more action from the UN. If the United Nations is to be useful for the peoples of the world, this sort of problem is its highest and best use.
“I also strongly suggest to President Bush and our Administration that you examine every aspect of your Executive Authority to relieve this suffering, including the new authorities Congress provided under Section 1206 of Public Law 109-163, the train-and-equip legislation which I authored.”
Joseph Kony has led the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) since 1987, terrorizing the region of Northern Uganda where over to 200,000 people have been killed in violent conflict and have perished from disease and malnutrition. Eighty to ninety percent of Kony’s fighters are enslaved children – brutalized and brained washed to kill. Sources estimate that the LRA has abducted between 20,000 and 50,000 children since 1987. These children are sexually abused, raped, beaten, taunted and traumatized by older soldiers in the LRA. Youths within Kony’s child army are maliciously coerced to mutilate, rape, and murder others, even their own family members and friends.
Approximately 40,000 children in rural Uganda trek miles into larger towns each night to sleep under the protection of soldiers and attempt to avoid capture. Over 1.6 million people have been forced to leave their homes because of the ongoing situation in Northern Uganda. Estimates put Uganda’s cost of this conflict at over $1.33 billion, or 3 percent of its GDP, significantly hampering that nation’s development efforts.
Senator Inhofe’s ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ resolution affirms the importance of increased international action and declares a national week of prayer for the Ugandan victims of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. The resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that Sudan, Uganda, and the international community bring justice and humanitarian assistance to Northern Uganda. The resolution designates February 2 through 9, 2006 as a national week of prayer and reflection for the people of Uganda.