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Don't forget Kony, U.S. lawmakers say

Aug. 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. government can play a key role in helping its African allies eliminate the threat for Joseph Kony and the rebel LRA, U.S. lawmakers said.

More than 70 members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to stay in task with the effort to tackle the regional threat posed by Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army.

Kony is the target of a 2005 arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court. His militant group is suspected of conscripting child soldiers and using girls as sex slaves.

Obama in 2011 deployed military advisers to the region to help military forces take on the LRA. U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter met in July with U.S. soldiers in Uganda helping with the fight.

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined 72 other lawmakers in signing a letter to Obama urging him to stay focused on the issue.

"Mr. President, the United States must continue pressing this effort until the LRA is defeated once and for all; there can be no let up," Royce said in a statement Wednesday.

The U.N. Security Council and human rights advocates have expressed concern about violence in the region, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The Security Council said ensuring stability following a rebellion from the militant Seleka coalition in CAR meant a rise in activity from the LRA.

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