U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe reiterated his support this week to capture Lord’s Resistance Army Joseph Kony. Inhofe and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., wrote a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to continue working with African governments to defeat Kony.

Kony and his LRA have been responsible for nearly 30 years of murders and displacement of innocent children, women and men in Uganda and other parts of Africa, said Inhofe, R-Okla.

The International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, has labeled Joseph Kony the No. 1 worst criminal in the world. In 2005, the Hague indicted Kony for war crimes. Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army has kidnapped children, tortured them and forced them to fight in his army, according to the court.

The bipartisan letter also included the signature of U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. Others who signed were Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Chris Coons, D-Del.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Mike Enzi R-Wy.; Dianne Feinstein D-Calif.; Deb Fischer R-Neb.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Mazie Hirono, D-Ha.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Mike Johanns, R-Neb.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Mark Pryor, D-Ark.; Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.; and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

Inhofe and Landrieu wrote, “As you know, LRA leader Joseph Kony is a U.S. designated global terrorist and wanted war criminal, most recently indicated by the U.S. Department of State’s issuance of a reward for information leading to his arrest, transfer, or conviction under the Department’s Rewards for Justice Program.

“Kony and the LRA have spread terror and lawlessness in the areas where they operate, creating conditions that could enable the spread of other extremist and terrorist organizations that are expanding operations throughout the African continent.”

Inhofe said that Kony is responsible for the murders of at least 100,000 people and the displacement of more than 400,000. Children have been turned into ‘Child Soldiers,’ forced to serve as sex slaves or mutilated by having their limbs, noses, lips and ears cut off, the senators wrote.

Help from the U.S. has brought the capture of two senior LRA commanders and the defection of nearly 15 percent of LRA’s soldiers, the senators stated.

They commended the work Invisible Children has done to let the world know of this humanitarian crisis. Continued U.S. leadership can bring justice to the area and restore stability to Central Africa, Inhofe said.

jcoburn@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 114

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