SOURCE: Africa Faith and Justice Network
By: Beth Tuckey
JUNE 23, 2009
A few weeks ago, two of AFJN's core issues - AFRICOM and northern Uganda - came together in a bittersweet piece of legislation by the U.S. Congress. While it provides crucial development aid and support for transitional justice, the new bill (S. 1067, H.R. 2478) also includes a statement of policy that may allow the U.S. military to pursue Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in D.R. Congo.
AFJN strongly supports many parts of the legislation. However, we believe that allowing AFRICOM to assist in an attack against the LRA is a recipe for disaster. We ask you to go to [http://tinyurl.com/l94ntk] to learn more and sign our petition to Congress, thereby voicing your support for a peaceful approach to ending the LRA conflict.
Fortunately, we're not alone. There has been a strong outcry from many religious groups and communities in northern Uganda, including several AFJN members. Over the weekend, the Acholi Religious Leader's Peace Initiative (ARLPI) released a statement that clearly denounces the military option and suggests that not all non-violent solutions to the LRA crisis have been exhausted.
The text of the legislation does not mandate that the U.S. military engage in an attack, but it does leave the door open. Despite the bill's admirable language about a multilateral, interagency approach against the LRA, we are well aware that the military far outweighs diplomacy and development in U.S. foreign policy today.
For the full story, please see: http://tinyurl.com/mvwkch