During his campaign, President Obama spoke of the need to stop the so-called "Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)," a Uganda-based rebel group that has been active in South Sudan and other parts of the region for more than two decades Over the past six weeks, the people of South Sudan, already living precariously with their northern neighbors, have been terrorized by an unremitting campaign of LRA militia attacks on civilians.
Christianity is the majority religion in South Sudan and the violence has had a particular effect on the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. Some of the earliest attacks â which included killings, child abductions, decapitation, and other unspeakable crimes at the hands of the LRA â were directed at parishes and villages in the Dioceses of Mundri and Ezo. Tragically, the violence appears to be spreading, with reports from bishops and others in Sudan that LRA activity has reached across southern Sudan to Torit, Kajokeji, Lainya, Yei, Yambio, Ibba, Maridi, and Lui.
Last week, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori urged Americans to learn more about the situation, advocate for a U.S. government response, give to the work of Episcopal Relief and Development in the region, and pray for peace. To read the Presiding Bishop's statement, click here.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Send a message to the White House, asking President Obama to take urgent action with other international leaders to stop the violence. Ask him now to work to ensure: (1) a viable strategy to arrest LRA leaders and bring them to justice; (2) robust protection for civilians as the governments of Southern Sudan, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue a joint effort to apprehend LRA leaders; (3) a negotiated end to the LRA's activity in the region; and (4) an adequate deployment to the region of UN peacekeepers.