U.S. military advisers to remain in Africa

April 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 23 (UPI) -- Military advisers will remain deployed to help several African nations protect against the threat from the Lord's Resistance Army, U.S. President Obama said.

The president announced the continued deployment during a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Monday as he discussed U.S. development of a comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to mass atrocities.

"[Our] advisers will continue their efforts to bring this madman to justice, and to save lives," Obama said. "It is part of our regional strategy to end the scourge that is the LRA, and help realize a future where no African child is stolen from their family and no girl is raped and no boy is turned into a child soldier."

The guerrilla force, rooted in Protestant Christianity, mysticism and traditional African religion, has been seeking to create a theocratic state since 1987.

In May 2010, Obama signed into law the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, reaffirming the U.S. commitment to support regional efforts to end LRA atrocities in central Africa. When he deployed about 100 advisers last year, Obama directed his National Security Council to review the advisers' progress after 150 days.

The United States' strategy in Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo has four objectives:

-- Increasing protection of civilians.

-- Capturing or removing LRA leader Joseph Kony and senior commanders.

-- Promoting defections from the LRA and support for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of remaining LRA fighters.

-- Providing humanitarian relief to affected communities.

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