> Central Africa: Letter From the
President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President
Pro Tempore of the Senate Regarding the Lord's Resistance Army
15 October 2011
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
For more than two decades, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered,
raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in
The LRA continues to commit atrocities across the Central African Republic,
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a
disproportionate impact on regional security. Since 2008, the United States
has supported regional military efforts to pursue the LRA and protect local
communities. Even with some limited U.S. assistance, however, regional
military efforts have thus far been unsuccessful in removing LRA leader
Joseph Kony or his top commanders from the battlefield. In the Lord's
Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, Public
Law 111 172, enacted May 24, 2010, the Congress also expressed support for
increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the
threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.
In furtherance of the Congress's stated policy, I have authorized a small
number of combat equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide
assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph
Kony from the battlefield. I believe that deploying these U.S. Armed Forces
furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a
significant contribution toward counter LRA efforts in central Africa.
On October 12, the initial team of U.S. military personnel with appropriate
combat equipment deployed to Uganda. During the next month, additional
forces will deploy, including a second combat-equipped team and associated
headquarters, communications, and logistics personnel.
The total number of U.S. military personnel deploying for this mission is
approximately 100. These forces will act as advisors to partner forces that
have the goal of removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior
leadership of the LRA. Our forces will provide information, advice, and
assistance to select partner nation forces.
Subject to the approval of each respective host nation, elements of these
U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African
Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The support provided by
U.S. forces will enhance regional efforts against the LRA.
However, although the U.S. forces are combat equipped, they will only be
providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and
they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self
defense. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of
U.S. military personnel during their deployment.
I have directed this deployment, which is in the national security and
foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional
authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and
Chief Executive. I am making this report as part of my efforts to keep the
Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public
Law 93 148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.
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Received on Sat Oct 15 2011 - 07:45:04 EDT