UPDATE: S. 1067: LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 passes House Committee on Foreign Affairs

A step in the right direction!

On April 28, 2010, the members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted by voice vote on S. 1067 the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009. A voice vote is a voting method used by the U.S. House of Representatives in which a vote is taken on legislation by responding verbally. The decision is made by the chair, although it can be challenged.

The bill is summarized here by the Congressional Research Service:

Directs the President to submit to the appropriate congressional committees a regional strategy to guide U.S. support for multilateral efforts to eliminate the threat to civilians and regional stability posed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and to enforce the rule of law and ensure full humanitarian access in LRA-affected areas. Authorizes the President to provide assistance to respond to the humanitarian needs of populations in northeastern Congo, southern Sudan, and Central African Republic affected by LRA activity. Expresses the sense of Congress that the Secretary of State and Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) should work with the appropriate congressional committees to increase future assistance to Uganda if the government of Uganda demonstrates a commitment to reconstruction in war-affected areas of northern and eastern Uganda. Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should support efforts by the people of northern Uganda and the government of Uganda to: (1) promote local and national reconciliation including mechanisms outlined in the Annexure to the Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation between the government of Uganda and the LRA; and (2) assist internally displaced people, establish mechanisms for the demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, and enhance the competency of local institutions including the police.

The bill is not law yet. Next, the legislation will be decided upon by the entire House of Representatives.

We'll keep you posted!

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