Congress passes bill with $45 million to help arrest Joseph Kony // IC CITIZEN

Our IC|Citizen team is excited to report that earlier this week, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, budget legislation (known as a “continuing resolution”) that includes a special allocation of $45 million to support efforts to locate and arrest top LRA leaders. More specifically, these funds would likely go towards new intelligence and surveillance equipment that the U.S. advisors in central Africa need to better identify the movements and locations of LRA groups and top commanders.

Barack Obama Signs Budget Control Act

This week’s news is a huge encouragement to our Citizen team, which has been working with activists across the country for months, lobbying members of the House and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittees (who had the most influence over this decision), and specifically asking them for this kind of funding.

One of our youngest lobby meeting participants ever, 12-year-old Ciara Doherty, joined a lobby meeting with the office of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), who chairs the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and whose leadership was necessary in order to secure the $45 million. Just days after that local lobby meeting, Senator Durbin gave a statement on the Senate floor about the need for continued U.S. commitment to end LRA violence. He also referenced his recent trip to Uganda, specifically highlighting a meeting he had with two Invisible Children employees in Gulu, David Ocitti and Oyella Lily, who shared powerful testimonies of how LRA violence has directly impacted their lives.

Securing this $45 million is a victory worth celebrating, not only because of the concrete impact it can have on efforts to end LRA violence, but also because it is further evidence that our collective voices – here in the U.S. and from LRA-affected communities – are keeping members of Congress engaged and committed to seeing LRA violence ended once and for all. All the more reason to make sure we keep speaking up.

(Photo credit: Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images)

4 Responses

  1. Len Sholder says:

    Who is LRA ? Use your words this is not a text message.
    LenS.

  2. Melanie says:

    Job well done! While many think President Obama is sending America to hell in a hand basket, maybe he recognizes that being a super power means more is expected of us to help bring justice to some of the forgotten parts of the world.

  3. Tim Sitomer says:

    Why are we spending 45M in another country, when our own country is going bankrupt.

    • Ananda Robie says:

      Hi Tim Sitomer!

      My name’s Ananda and I work on the Citizen Team here at IC. You’ve posed a really important question that I wanted to make sure I helped answer.

      I know there is a lot of tension right now around our National Debt. It’s important to know that the US Government’s allocation of these funds does NOT increase the overall defense budget in any way. This funding is just a small portion of our country’s EXISTING defense budget and it will have a HUGE impact on locating and arresting Joseph Kony, protecting civilians, and encouraging LRA fighters to surrender.

      Please feel free to visit our website and the FAQ page to learn more or email us additional questions!

      http://invisiblechildren.com/citizen/learn-more/
      citizen@invisiblechildren.com

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