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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

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JULY-AUGUST 2017

15

Kony’s savagery and pressure the United

States to takemilitary action, had released

a 30-minute documentary, “Kony 2012.”

It drew 100million views in its first week

alone, making it the fastest-growing viral

video in history up to that point.The group

also gathered 3.7million signatures on a call

for international action to end the conflict.

In a

September 2013 update

(“Kony

2013”), we reported that the Obama

administration had deployed 100 U.S.

Army Special Forces soldiers to Central

Africa, to train local troops and assist in

the manhunt. Their efforts effectively

reduced the LRA to a shell of its former self

and drove Kony into hiding, most likely in

South Sudan.

Noting that the State Department was

offering a $5 million reward for informa-

tion leading to Kony’s capture, the Talking

Points item saw “reason to hope that 2013

will be the year he and his followers finally

face justice.”

Alas, our optimismproved premature.

On April 22, Associated Press reporter

RodneyMuhumaza broke the news that

Uganda and the United States had called

off themanhunt, claiming that the LRAwas

only a nuisance, not a regional menace.

In a May 9 follow-up, Muhumaza cites a

December 2016 United

Nations report on sex-

ual violence in conflict,

which states that the

LRA remains a regional

menace: “The Lord’s

Resistance Army con-

tinued its decade-old

pattern of abduction,

rape, forcedmarriage,

forced impregnation

and sexual slavery”

in the Central African

Republic and has a

presence in Congo and

South Sudan.”

And sure enough, for the first time

in five years, on June 7 40 LRA rebels

kidnapped 61 civilians in the Tanganyika

mining area near Garamba National Park

in the DRC’s Haut-Uele province. Though

the villagers were released unharmed

after being forced to transport goods and

food the group had looted, an unknown

number of themhave fled the area. At

least one NGO involved in protecting

civilians has already suspended work in

the province due to insecurity, and others

may follow.

—Steven Alan Honley,

Contributing Editor

Annual PDAA Awards

Winners Hailed

for Creativity and

Innovation

T

he 2017 winners of the 20th annual

PDAA awards for excellence in

public diplomacy were honored at a May

7 celebration in Washington, D.C.

PDAA is a volunteer, nonprofit

organization of current and former State

Department, broadcast, academic and

private-sector public diplomacy profes-

sionals (formerly known as the USIA

Alumni Association).

U.S.CONSULATEGENERALNAHA

Dolores Prin, second from right, at a school in Okinawa.