Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Congress OKs bill expanding rewards program

Jan. 2, 2013 - 05:22PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 2, 2013 - 05:22PM  |  
  • Filed Under

WASHINGTON — Congress has approved legislation that would expand the State Department's rewards for justice program to target the world's most serious human rights abusers, with African warlord Joseph Kony a top target.

The House passed the bill by voice vote Tuesday night and sent it to President Barack Obama for his signature. The State Department strongly backed the legislation.

"This bill responds to the need to develop more tools to pursue the world's worst," said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., sponsor of the legislation and the next chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The program, established in 1984, gives the secretary of state the authority to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone who plans, commits or attempts international terrorist acts. The amount of the reward would be at the secretary's discretion. The bill would expand that authority to allow the State Department to publicize and pay rewards for information about individuals involved in transnational organized crime or foreign nationals wanted by any international criminal tribunal for war crimes or genocide.

Kony and his ruthless guerrilla group, the Lord's Resistance Army, are responsible for a nearly three-decade campaign of terror in Central Africa that has been marked by child abductions and widespread killings. The United States designated the Lord's Resistance Army a terrorist organization in 2001. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for heinous attacks in multiple countries.

In 2010, Obama dispatched 100 U.S. troops — mostly Army Special Forces — to Central Africa to advise regional forces in their hunt for Kony, a military move that received strong bipartisan congressional support.

"U.S. military advisers working in Central Africa consider a reward offer on Kony as critical to their effort," Royce said. "This action bolsters the hunt."

In the Senate, the bill had the strong support of Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Obama's pick to be the next secretary of state; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., John Boozman, R-Ark., and Chris Coons, D-Del.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

Many missions, fewer soldiers
Army chief talks new deployments; 'grave' readiness concern

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook