"Weekly Roundup for May 29 – June 5: Nine members of Congress cosponsor LRA/N. Uganda bill
Momentum toward passing legislation that would require the Obama Administration to take seriously the need to stop LRA atrocities continued to increase this week, with several Members of Congress signing onto the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. While this is encouraging progress, we hope to send this bill to the President's desk with as many cosponsors as possible so as to send the unequivocal message that ending the violence and achieving lasting peace must be a priority. If you want to help make that happen, there's still time to sign up for How It Ends and be a part of our Lobby Days this June 22-23rd (registration closes this weekend!).
The Good: Four Senators and five Representatives agreed to cosponsor the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, demonstrating growing support the landmark legislation.
The Bad: LRA rebels abducted 135 people, including children, during back-to-back raids on one Congolese village near the border with Central African Republic last week.
The Ugly: The Ugandan government is failing to support key human rights and anti-discriminatory commissions in Uganda, and is failing to award compensation to victims of human rights abuses.
- Ugandan troops are slated to pull out of the southern Sudan state of Western Equatoria, raising concerns that communities there will be more vulnerable to LRA attacks.
- The UN Secretary-General announced he is suspending the mandate of Joaquim Chissano, his special envoy for LRA-affected areas, at the end of June. Chissano played a crucial role in early stages of the Juba peace negotiations, but was unsuccessful in convincing Kony to sign the final peace agreement.
Situation in Northern
- In an open letter to President Museveni of Uganda, a coalition of human rights groups urged the Ugandan government to a better job of implementing recommendations made the Ugandan Human Rights Commission and filling key staff positions on the Equal Opportunities Commission, a body established to ensure affirmative action for marginalized groups.
- The UN food agency announced that it will reduce the number of northern Ugandans receiving food aid by 740,000, continuing to assist only 100,000 extremely vulnerable individuals.
- Nine members of Congress agreed to cosponsor the LRA/N. Uganda legislation introduced last month, bringing the total number of Senators and Representatives who support the bill to 14. (Each week we'll be updating you on new members who've cosponsored the bill - you can check out the list on our legislation webpage).
- The World Bank announced a $100 million credit to the Ugandan government to implement its Peace, Recovery and Development Plan for northern Uganda. The increased funding could boost the stalled plan, though corruption and mismanagement have hampered the effective implementation of previous World Bank-funded initiatives in northern Uganda."