News / Africa

Human Rights Campaign Complements US Effort to Fight LRA

Sean Maroney

U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to send military advisers to central Africa to help in the fight against Lord's Resistance Army rebels follows a long, determined effort by rights groups to publicize the LRA crisis affecting millions.

The fight to end the LRA's reign of terror in central Africa and capture its leader, Joseph Kony, will not be easy.  The rebels are well-known for attacking remote villages and then melting back into the surrounding jungle.

But Michael Poffenberger, the executive director for the Washington-based group Resolve, is working to change that.  His group has compiled data from the area since December 2009 to provide a more comprehensive picture. "Four out of every five attacks that we documented were never before publicly reported," he said. "And so what we aim to do with this is to really show the world, 'Here's the full scale of what's going on.'"

The group updates its online Crisis Tracker in real time with information from the United Nations, partner organizations and a high-frequency radio network.  But it's not just a map that lists attacks.  It's also a storytelling tool, showing the rate of violence and where LRA rebels are moving their attacks.

"I want President Obama to end this war.  We do not know why we are being killed without any cause," said one female victim of the violence.

Human Rights Watch launched an appeal to the Obama administration in early 2010 that allowed victims to tell their stories to the president.  Mr. Obama cited the work of aid groups as part of his decision to reaffirm the U.S. commitment against the LRA later that year.

Tom Malinowski is HRW's Washington advocacy director.  He says he hopes the United States uses all tools available for a comprehensive strategy aimed at defeating the rebels. "If you provoke the hornets in the hornets' nest without effectively removing them from the forest or the battlefield, they tend to strike out even more viciously.  So that's the dilemma," he said.

The United States supported another regional campaign against the LRA in 2008.  But that mission failed to capture Joseph Kony and other commanders, resulting in what human-rights groups called retaliatory attacks against civilians.

This time around, rights groups hope it will be different.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid