Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after Dominic Ongwen, a senior member of the Lord’s Resistance Army, was reportedly taken into custody in the Central African Republic:

“The LRA has terrorized civilians for nearly three decades, raping, murdering, and severing limbs.  With Dominic Ongwen reportedly in custody, the LRA may have lost one of its most senior operational leaders.  This would be an important blow.  The African Union Regional Taskforce, with strong support from the U.S. military, has been dismantling the LRA command structure, encouraging defections from the lower ranks, and bringing some sense of normalcy to the communities in Central Africa.  These are impressive feats, especially when considering the very difficult terrain.”

Note:  Royce, a former Chairman of the Africa Subcommittee, has long been at the center of congressional efforts to counter the LRA.  In 2013, Chairman Royce and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), joined by 73 members of Congress, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to remain committed to defeating Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Chairman Royce was the original co-author of “The Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009.”  Last year, legislation originally authored by Rep. Royce was signed into law expanding the State Department’s rewards program to target the world’s worst human rights abusers, such as Ongwen.