He’s not calling it a war, but President Obama will be sending American troops into Central Africa to offer military assistance.
In order to aid with the takedown of Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa, President Barack Obama told Congress today that he has authorized upwards of 100 American soldiers into the region to “remove from the battlefield” LRA leader Kony and other high-ranking officials of his army.
In a letter address to House Speaker John Boehner today, President Obama says that American troops "will only be providing information, advice and assistance to partner nation forces,” but that they could engage in battle if necessary for self defense.
Obama says that his decision to send troops into Central Africa comes as a response to two decades’ worth of aggression perpetrated by Kony and the LRA, whom the president says is responsible for having “murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa” and 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.”
In all, human rights groups and the Obama administration have estimated that thousands of Africans have been assassinated by the LRA army, which also regularly enlists young women as sex slaves and young men as guerilla soldiers.
The first American troops already arrived in Uganda on Wednesday and will soon deploy elsewhere throughout the region once other area nations approve the action. Meanwhile, US military operations continue in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere.
What could possibly go wrong? How about some engaging of the battles as necessary for self defense, regrettably escalating the situation, requiring more troops as back up?
So the story goes, Joseph Kony -- the *elusive* Joseph Kony -- has waged guerrilla warfare for 20 years, against the Ugandan government, and as head of the Lord's Resistance Army. And now finally, after 20 years, American Heroes will go and get this fucker. We are not sure what took so long and why now, all of a sudden, it's time to get Kony. Or why now, all of a sudden, it's time to make a big trade for Gilad Shalit. But it's time.
How has Kony eluded capture for 20 years? (most links removed)
Kony may be barking mad -- he performs bizarre rituals and claims to fight for "the Ten Commandments" -- but he has survived for two decades, outnumbered and outmatched by every metric, on little more than his ideology and his wits. "Kony is a brilliant tactician & knows the terrain better than anybody. He surrounds himself with scouts who have what amounts to an early warning system, which is how he's eluded capture for so long," Morehouse College assistant professor and Central Africa expert Laura Seay warned on twitter. "Kony also operates in some of the least-governed areas of the world's weakest states. Many of these places have no roads, infrastructure. All of this adds up for a potential mess for US troops, who don't know the terrain & can't count on host government troops to be helpful or even to fight. This will not be easy for only 100 US forces to carry out, especially given language barriers." Seay also points out that Kony uses children as human shield -- and as much of his fighting force -- making any direct action ethically and morally difficult.Sure. Ideology and wits, brilliant tactician with incredible early warning system, just like those wily TCOs. Sure, sure. And why now?
It's difficult to find a U.S. interest at stake in the Lord's Resistance Army's campaign of violence. The group could go on killing and enslaving for decades -- as they well might -- and the American way of life would continue chugging along. It's possible that there's some immediate U.S. interest at stake we can't obviously see. Maybe, for example, Uganda is offering the U.S. more help with peacekeeping and counterterrorism in East Africa, where the U.S. does have concrete interests, in exchange for the troops. But it certainly looks like a primarily or purely humanitarian military mission, if a very small one. The Obama administration is hoping that these 100 troops will succeed where past U.S. assistance against the LRA -- intelligence, satellite images, fuel, and millions of dollars -- has failed. Maybe they will and maybe they won't. But this seems to suggest a small but important shift in how, where, and why the U.S. uses applies military force.
Aha, what exactly was the past US assistance?
July 2011 Congress lifts a hold on AFRICOM to spend $4.4 million on communications and intelligence training, and communications and engineering equipment, to help Uganda remove Kony. This all follows from legislation drawn up in 2009, signed into law in 2010, and now being funded and "executed," for humanitarian purposes of course.
In May 2010, the President Obama signed into law the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, which required that the executive branch draw up a strategy to support multilateral efforts to protect civilians from the LRA, to apprehend or remove the LRA leader Joseph Kony, and to disarm and demobilize LRA fighters.Who is this all about? Joseph Kony. Evidently, he's one bad dude.
We learn from this blogger, Solomon Akugizibwe:
- In 2006 Oprah described the LRA's activities in Northern Uganda as an 'African Holocust'.
- In 2008 the US listed Kony as a global terrorist.
- He has no known assets except guns and a satellite phone.
- He was born to a Catholic father and an Anglican mother in 1961, was an altar boy, then a village witchdoctor.
- He claims to follow the Ten Commandments.
- In 2006 he appeared on camera with South Sudan Vice President Riek
Marchar, allegedly to negotiate for peace with Uganda, which did not materialize because he never keeps his word.
- He has supporters.*
- He lacks popular support.
- His deputies hate and fear him, believing him a "magical being" who can hear their thoughts.
- He appears to be mythical in his ability to escape capture, claiming to use witchcraft to foretell danger.
- He and his small army of under 500, using improvised weapons, consistently outwit armies.
- His militants have been trained in harsh survival techniques.
So, who are his supporters????
He has a network of supporters in the Diaspora, who help give some form of legitimacy to the rebellion and maybe funding. All the nine people on his Juba Peace Negotiating Team are Ugandans living in the Diaspora. The head of the LRA peace negotiating team until 2009, Dr David Nyekorach Matsanga stays in the United Kingdom. If the Uganda government allegations against the government of Sudan for funding the LRA are true, then Kony has a lot of weapons at his disposal to cause any form of mayhem.Supporters in the Diaspora then? So strange. This Dr. Matsanga was interviewed in 2008, and said the following things:
I am a Ugandan who fled the country in 1985 when Milton Obote was overthrown. It was a Saturday morning at 10:00am and since then I have not lived in Uganda.
Q: Have you ever met Kony?
A: Yes, I have met Kony physically over 16 times.
...Q: Are you confident that Kony wants peace?QUICK RECAP THERE: Diapora Ugandan living in London presumably traveled to Uganda and met Kony over 16 times, rather giving lie to the big drama that Kony lives like a murderous jungle hobo surviving on tree bark. Rather it seems his satellite phone RINGS OFF THE HOOK with advice from his DIASPORA SUPPORTERS, who may possibly have given him lots of weapons and funding, and who may possibly be the reason for his mythical powers of evasion.....because they do not want peace..... ?
A: I am confident that Kony wants peace but it is the people around him who are confusing him. He is surrounded by selfish people, especially in the diaspora who are not focused and are not for peace. They bombard him with calls and all sorts of ideas. They never supported the talks and do not want Kony to sign the peace agreement.
Which would possibly mean, then, that this entire latest humanitarian hero mission of the US military is but one more crock of shit designed to get US troops into a RESOURCE RICH AREA, from which they can conduct another STRATEGY OF TENSION AND LOW LEVEL CONFLICT to destabilize the population and CONTROL THOSE RESOURCES......?
The whole thing about Joseph Kony being a J U S T I F I C A T I O N for the above.....?
Just guessing here.
Since we have written about the Congo in the past, let's refresh our memories of the sorts of things that may be entangled in this latest development.
"Note that Northern Uganda butts up to Southern Sudan. There is a big load of gold in Southern Sudan, which surely has nothing to do with anything. "
From the very important post exposure:
There's another huge case of people managing to look the other way and avoiding massive evidence of war crimes and atrocities, all of a sudden coming to the world's attention. It will be the subject of a separate post:
Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003, August 2010 -- Unofficial translation from French original (pdf)This report circulates while Uganda suddenly becomes very newsworthy.
We never did get around to writing about that report, but LO! It's time. This is a 500+ page report detailing the genocide that took place in the Congo between 1993 and 2003, a genocide not caused by Joseph Kony. The report covers state sponsored violence.
1138. Today, many people suspected of committing serious violations of international humanitarian law can be found in a number of institutions, in particular among senior positions in the army...
And we are talking about human trafficking, in particular the trafficking of children. See the post: where are all the missing children?1143. In light of the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of serious violations of human
rights and international humanitarian law, and the repetition of crimes within the territory
of the DRC, there is a manifest urgency for justice and security service reform. The
members of the Mapping Team were able to observe the constant fear on the part of affected populations that history would repeat itself, especially when yesterday’s attackers are returning in positions that enable them to commit new crimes with complete impunity.
Uganda has a trafficking problem.SEE THE PDF REPORT.
August 2008: Uganda: Children in a trafficker's paradise
Some of the child trafficking is blamed on the Lord's Resistance Army.
Problems resulting from the political marginalisation of northern Uganda led to the creation of the Lords Resistance Movement (LRM), a rebel self-proclaimed Christian guerrilla army. The LRA is accused of widespread human rights violations, including mutilation, torture, rape, the abduction of civilians, the use of child soldiers and a number of massacres. In fact, according to UNICEF, in 2006 alone 20,000 children were abducted.
Ruth Visick Evans, Director, Oasis Uganda, an NGO, says, "The problem of human trafficking is rampant in eastern and central regions where many children are taken to the border and smuggled easily into neighbouring Kenya for forced labour and prostitution."
Victoria Nafula, a senior immigration officer in Kampala agrees and reveals that at least 300 children are shipped out everyday for as little as $130 per child....While LRA activities largely throw light on child abductions, young women are also at risk - being lured to the United Arab Emirates, where they end up as sex slaves. Con men also come disguised as pastors and convince gullible audiences of how they can send their children to "paradise".
Three hundred children per day.
Probably, we guess, the LRA could not manage to hide out in the jungle if it kidnapped 300 children per day. Probably, we guess, some other rings are involved in the child trafficking.
In The Western Bloody Hand of Genocide in Africa, we read that that the LRA is blamed for some things done by others.
Western regimes and their genocidal puppets in Africa always creates a slam-dog to blame for their atrocities. This has been the Case in Uganda with the Lords resistance Army.
Joseph Kony’s Lords resistance Army has not killed more than a thousand people for the last Seventeen years. However the American and British trained Uganda Army (UPDF) has killed in Somalia,Uganda,Sudan,Rwanda,DR Congo and Central Africa Republic 5 million Africans. This is a fact and not some silly or malicious accusations. i.e.there was a time when more than 1000 people where dying in Western sponsored concentration camps in Northern Uganda. This went on for (work-out the maths) more than 6years.
In spite of the Lords resistance Army’s Christian fundamentalism, there’s no evidence of mass graves or masses of people with lips and ears chopped off nor is this the case with the Al-Shabab, Somali Mujahadeens.
Who directed all this killing? The mysterious badass Joseph Kony in the jungle? Or the Western backed regimes of Yoweri Musaveni and Paul Kagame?
"Facts; more people in Uganda have died at the hands of Yoweri Museveni, compared to the numbers killed in the Rwanda genocide."
Paul Kagame and Yoweri Musaveni
Yoweri Museveni is a western client and Omar Bashir a Chinese client-The likes of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton are the ones that have planned,armed and sponsored the likes of Paul Kagame to commit genocide.
According to top secret intelligence documents that we have obtained, Uganda armed the invasion of Rwanda for an ambitious plan of a “regional war of liberation” which aimed to unite 7 African countries under the leadership of President Yoweri K. Museveni. Reunited, these countries would form a regional showcase called “Great Unified Region; United Great Region” and to have a “Red Army Reserve, of 2,000,000 men and willing to subject the rest of the Saharan Africa to war and terror. Museveni intended to act with the support of the United Kingdom and the United States, where they hoped to further address the influence of emerging powers like China and India and impose an Anglo-Saxon political, economic and military imperialistic shadow on the African continent.
Alison Des Forges was Senior Advisor at the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch knew about Ugandan soldiers training child soldiers and committing atrocities. Not the LRA, but Ugandan soldiers.
Des Forges was killed in the same February 2009 Buffalo plane crash that killed Beverly Eckert, a 911 widow. (You can read more about Beverly Eckert here.)
"Attracted by the immense mineral wealth of Congo, the U.S. supported Gen. Paul Kagame’s 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda, expecting Kagame to facilitate access to Congo. Note that the only city marked on President Bill Clinton’s map besides the Rwandan capital Kigali is the border city of Goma, Congo, center of the fighting over and plundering of Congo’s mineral wealth. More than 6 million civilians would later die under Bill Clinton’s eight-year reign – with American money, weapons and political support."
Who is Joseph Kony? He appears to be a very useful person. We wonder if the troops will be able to find him in the jungle or if he will prove as elusive as Osama in the caves of Afghanistan.