We have collaborated and worked with numerous NGOs, government officials, donors, civil society members, and foundations to implement effective, life-saving programs that contribute to the protection of civilians and an end to LRA violence. The LRA is currently being tracked by sophisticated multi-national military teams that in the past month have come closer than ever to Kony’s group, as stated in the recent New Yorker and Washington Post articles. We respect Robert Young Pelton’s recognition of the need to get information on Kony’s location but do not believe this sort of effort will provide new, valuable information currently not obtainable by these active teams.
At Invisible Children, we approach the LRA conflict through an integrated four-part model of media, mobilization, protection and recovery that addresses the problem in its entirety: immediate needs and long term effects. Since 2004, we have been committed to bringing a permanent end to LRA violence in central Africa. On this journey, we built the first regional early warning radio network, helped pass the most widely supported Africa focused legislation in US history, distributed over one million defection fliers, funded the construction of DR Congo’s first LRA focused child soldier rehabilitation center, invested over $7.5M into the refurbishment of war-affected secondary schools and funded over 4,000 annual secondary and university scholarships for war-affected youth.
We remain encouraged by the achievements made in the conflict since Kony 2012. LRA killings of civilians have been drastically reduced, LRA commanders have been removed from the battlefield, and LRA defections are at an all-time high. In the last year there has been a 57% decrease in child abductions. In the past three years there has been a 93% reduction in the number of killings committed by the LRA. These are extremely encouraging numbers as we work towards the goal of zero LRA.