Obama to sign reward bill

2013-01-16 09:34

Washington - President Barack Obama will sign legislation on Tuesday expanding the State Department's rewards for justice programmes aimed at capturing the world's most serious human rights abusers, with African warlord Joseph Kony the top target.

The legislation passed Congress with bipartisan support, and was strongly backed by the State Department, which sees financial rewards as a key method for tracking down elusive human rights offenders.

"A lot of the people in the ranks of these armed groups are motivated by money," said Samantha Power, Obama's top adviser on human rights.

The programme, 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 new law allows the State Department to publicise and pay rewards for information about people involved in transnational organized crime or foreign nationals wanted by any international criminal tribunal for war crimes or genocide.

Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for heinous attacks in multiple countries, will be the top target of the expanded law, administration officials said.

Kony and his ruthless guerilla 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 organisation in 2001.

In 2010, Obama dispatched 100 US troops - mostly Army Special Forces - to Central Africa to advise regional forces in their hunt for Kony, who remains on the run.

Administration officials said the expanded powers would not apply to Syrian President Bashar Assad or members of his government since the regime's top leaders are not currently being sought by an international criminal tribunal.

  • cyanideandhappiness - 2013-01-16 11:14

    How much is the reward for Obama and Bush and their fellow administration officials for the illegal execution of Osama Bin Laden without a trial and the thousands of innocent civilians killed in drone strikes and continuous American wars that serve no purpose but profit? What about the economic irresponsibility of their administration that caused billions to be stolen and so many lives destroyed by poverty and scarcity? What about the weapons produced in the USA, the largest weapons manufacturer in the world, and paid for by tax payers money, that make their way all over the world and contribute to the deaths of millions of innocent people? All hypocrites, the greatest terrorists of our time are these clowns and their predecessors, not some Muslim sitting in a cave. Wake up world, it's getting tiring the have to describe a picture that is clearly right in front of your eyes.

      simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-16 12:31

      very well said!!

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-16 14:07

      Blair and Bush were bigger murderous bastards than Saddam Hussein. They ended up killing infinitely more people, and didn't even manage to provide stability and freedoms anywhere. Those folks honestly still believe that wars are fought for freedom/human rights/democracy, but that group seems to be shrinking rapidly since the advent of the Internet.

  • simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-16 11:26

    Who gave them the authority to be the world's police?? And they want to talk about human rights abusers when they have hundreds of people being held at Guantanamo indefinitely without charge or trial or any access to civilaized legal process, and subjected to torture nogal. That should be enough evidence to put Obama in front of the International Criminal Court.

      sterling.ferguson.397 - 2013-04-03 23:14

      B-2 bombers.

  • fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-16 13:01

    There is no limit in hypocrisy by the US, specially when it comes to Human Rights. Giving people jobs, electricity, and above all security is not considered a human rights achievement, but limiting the process of having your fingers dyed is unpardonable. Saudi Arabia is one of the most favoured 'democractic and human rights observing' friends of the 'free world' in the Middle East. It was through US bought Saudi Tanks, killing unarmed civilians that Bahrain has been saved (and the fifth fleet). With the recent wars, and countless casualties, lecturing anyone on human rights is absurd. If any small developing country was abducting non-nationals , torturing them, detaining them for years without trial and illegally invading their countries, that country would be treated as a pariah state. The pretense of defending democracy and human rights is negated by history. The US has no authority to lecture anyone on anything! - 2013-01-16 13:17

      Saudi human rights observing? Ha ha ha. Their women aren't even ollowed to drive or leave home unaccompanied by a male relative. Now go pull the other one Fidel. Oh, and as a darker brother, why not go visit Saudi and experience what racism really is!

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-16 14:07

      Was this comment of mine too much for you!

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