WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed H. Res. 583, a resolution expressing support for U.S. efforts to assist African forces in the hunt for Joseph Kony, the sadistic leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), a co-author of the bipartisan resolution and a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement:
"The LRA continues its reign of terror in central Africa - abducting, killing and mutilating. It is long past time that Joseph Kony and his commanders be stopped once and for all.
"Working in a bipartisan way, Congress had led on the LRA, passing legislation in 2010 setting the stage for the small teams of U.S. troops now assisting Africans in the hunt for Kony. This resolution strongly backs this important mission.
"This is a mission led by Africans for Africans. But some small, targeted U.S. assistance can go a long way.
"Months ago, many did not know the name Joseph Kony - now millions do. A large spotlight has been cast on his evil. He will be found. He will get justice," said Royce.
Throughout the group's history, the LRA has forcibly conscripted some 66,000 youths. Kony has rejected several attempts to negotiate an end to the conflict. Their campaign of killing civilians and mutilating, abducting, and forcing individuals into sexual servitude sadly continues.
In 2010, Royce co-authored the "Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act," which made it the policy of the United States "to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield." The Obama Administration last fall sent a small team of U.S. troops to Uganda to advise and assist local forces in the hunt for Kony. Additionally, Royce recently introduced "Rewards for Justice" legislation (H.R. 4077) that would allow the State Department to offer a reward for the apprehension of Kony, something the Department already does for terrorists and major drug traffickers.