SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Yesterday's announcement from The White House that Barack Obama is sending around 100 military advisors and troops to help stop the Lord's Resistance Army is a huge victory for the hundreds of thousands of young Americans who have been asking the President to take action against this brutal rebel group." – Ben Keesey, CEO Invisible Children.
Over 230,000 youth have rallied three times with Invisible Children demanding action. This culminated in the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act that was passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support last year by both houses. It was the most widely supported African issue legislation in modern American history.
The comprehensive strategy taken by the Obama Administration to stop the LRA violence has been thoughtfully planned for the last year and a half following the passing of the bill. The military deployment yesterday is just one piece in the overall structure of disarming the LRA and stopping their 26 year-long reign of terror and destabilization in the region.
We have seen first hand the need for greater action against the LRA, which is why we strongly applaud this deployment yesterday. In 2008, Invisible Children Founder, Jason Russell, was invited into the LRA's camp in Garamba National Forest in the D.R.C. This experience profoundly shaped our view of the LRA and our commitment to see the apprehension of the top leadership and the rehabilitation of the abducted child soldiers.
Right now estimates show that the LRA numbers are between 250-400 individuals. They are responsible for the abduction and murder of thousands. Their victims have been some of the most ignored and under-protected individuals in modern history, and America's lead in protecting them is a deeply moving statement to the world. Specific and confirmed reports of incidents involving LRA violence can be found at LRACrisisTracker.com and a short video explaining the LRA and their origins and tactics can be found here: http://www.lracrisistracker.com/media/video/who-lra
Combining last year's legislation and The President's actions in support of peace in Central Africa, we see an America poised to be recognized as a supporter of lasting solutions and stability around the world.
"To be clear, the 100 troops deployed are being sent in an advisory role, to support and augment the Ugandan Military with technology and strategy. They will not be involved in any offensive action. So any reference to an invasion or new war by the United States is absolutely ridiculous. This is a step in the right direction that we should all be proud of as Americans." Jedidiah Jenkins, Spokesperson, Invisible Children.
This bi-partisan issue has gained the support of Americans on all sides of the political spectrum. A driving force behind the legislation, Republican Senator Jim Inhofe said yesterday:
"I applaud our nation's military for making this a priority and taking the steps outlined in our legislation that will eventually protect the children and people from Joseph Kony's reign of terror."
This is a well-reasoned action step that improves the brand and virtue of American diplomacy, and Invisible Children's base of hundreds of thousands of supporters are celebrating The President's action yesterday.
Invisible Children Phone Number for Press Inquiries: 619-562-2799
Ben Keesey, CEO, Invisible Children, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimmy Vanidvort, Executive Assistant, Invisible Children, email@example.com
Jedidiah Jenkins, Director of Ideology, Invisible Children, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Invisible Children