Joseph Kony resolution introduced in House
Two House lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a resolution supporting efforts to counter the Lord's Resistance Army, hoping to build on the momentum created by a viral YouTube video spotlighting the atrocities of LRA leader Joseph Kony.
The resolution, introduced by Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. and Ed Royce, R-Calif., calls for, among other things, expanding the number of regional forces in Africa to protect civilians and placing restrictions on individuals or governments found to be supporting Kony.
Kony gained notoriety in the U.S. this month when a 30-minute video produced by the group Invisible Children went viral, picking up more than 50 million views in just four days. The video spotlighted how the Ugandan warlord has been accused of kidnapping up to 30,000 children in the past 26 years, using girls as sex slaves and boys as child soldiers.
Invisible Children has since taken heat for how much of its budget it spends on aid to Africa versus marketing. Additionally, some Ugandans have complained the video misrepresents and over-simplifies the issue.
Still, McGovern said in a statement that the new attention the African conflict is receiving is a good thing.
"I am hopeful that we can use this momentum as a force for change," he said. "We must do all that we can to protect innocent civilians -- especially children -- and end LRA violence once and for all."
Last year, McGovern and Royce introduced and helped pass into law "The Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act." Subsequently, President Obama sent 100 U.S. troops to Central Africa to serve as advisers in efforts to hunt down Kony.
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