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Joseph Kony And The Lord’S Resistance Army

The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) for 5 minutes.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

legislator photo

Madam Speaker, I would like to begin my remarks by commending all the citizens and young students in my congressional district and, indeed, throughout the country who have worked so hard to raise awareness about Joseph Kony and his brutal crimes. As we can see in this poster, there's Kony, and these are just a few of the photos of so many innocents who have been mutilated by Kony and his thugs.

Joseph Kony is a mass murderer, whose campaign of violence against innocent civilians spans decades. The predatory forces doing his bidding are known as the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, and they have perpetrated some of the worst human rights abuses of our time.

Under the direction of Kony, the LRA has murdered, raped, mutilated, and abducted tens of thousands of innocent people, many of whom are children. They target remote villages, butchering civilians, abducting women and children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. Kony's bloody reach now extends to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and the newly formed Republic of South Sudan.

One measure that we could accomplish would be for the U.N. peacekeeping missions in the region to more effectively coordinate their actions and share information related to Kony and the LRA, because this is a threat that crosses many international borders.

I'd like to thank my colleague, Congressman Ed Royce, for introducing a new bill, H.R. 4077, which I proudly support. H.R. 4077 would authorize the Secretary of State to use the State Department's Rewards Program to gain intelligence and strengthen the capacity of those who are actively engaged in fighting transnational organized crime and also apply it to the search for Kony and the LRA.

This program has served as a valuable incentive for those with crucial information to come forward and help round up foreign nationals wanted for a range of brutal crimes and activities that threaten regional and global security and stability and U.S. national security interests. It will be an important tool in helping bring Kony and his circle of thugs, the Lord's Resistance Army, to justice.

I'd also like to thank Congressman Jim McGovern for introducing House Resolution 583, of which I am also a proud cosponsor. Mr. McGovern's resolution echoes current law and puts the House on record in strong support of U.S. efforts to counter the Lord's Resistance Army. It urges the President to work closely with Congress to address critical gaps in U.S. strategy and to enhance U.S. support for the regional measures already there to fight the Lord's Resistance Army.

As we have seen over the past 25 years, Kony's assault on innocent lives has no limits. Now is the time to help bring Joseph Kony and his fellow criminals to justice. As a Nation, let us assure that we have done all that we can to end this ongoing tragedy and hold this evil man accountable for all of his crimes.

I thank all of the young people throughout my district who have communicated through Twitter and Facebook and different modes of social media to express their outrage over Kony's evil deeds; but now, let's take action. Let's pass these bills.