Controversial radio commentator Rush Limbaugh has accused President Barack Obama of "wiping out Christians" in Africa after the president announced he will send 100 troops to Uganda to combat the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel cult with a Christian fundamentalist army accused of gross human rights violations.
"Lord's Resistance Army are Christians. It means God," Limbaugh said on his program. "Lord's Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them."
The LRA states Christianity as their religion and aims to enforce a theocratic government based on the Ten Commandments. However, they are also considered a terrorist organization that spreads terror fear, and bloodshed in Central Africa.
According to Christianity Today (CT), the LRA targets children, whom they "rape, mutilate, and kill…with a rapaciousness that staggers the imagination. Worse, they compel children to kill one another and their own families, fighting as ‘soldiers’ in an armed force deliberately composed of children."
The LRA's leader is Joseph Kony, who CT says uses passages from the Pentateuch to justify mutilation and murder. Kony also practices a unique blend of Christianity infused with elements of Islam and witchcraft.
Kony claims to talk to God, speak in tongues, and wears women’s dresses, which are easy to come by since he has 32 wives, according to the Seattle Times.
Although the LRA's leader is known to be eccentric, the army’s reputation as a brutal and bloody cult has caught the attention of the various human rights organizations as well as the International Criminal Court, which put out a warrant for Kony’s arrest in 2005. Among the charges against Kony are twelve counts of crimes against humanity, including murder and sexual enslavement, as well as twenty-one counts of war crimes, including pillaging, rape, and forced enlistment of children.
"Is that right? The Lord's Resistance Army is being accused of really bad stuff?" Limbaugh said later in the program. "Child kidnapping, torture, murder, that kind of stuff? Well, we just found out about this today. We're gonna do, of course, our due diligence research on it. But nevertheless we got a hundred troops being sent over there to fight these guys - and they claim to be Christians."
CBS News reported that troops being sent in to combat the LRA could be "political payback" to the U.S.– funded Ugandan troops in Somalia, who have been cooperative with the U.S. in the fight against al-Qaida in the region.
"I've been hearing that. I don't know if our group necessarily agrees with that, but it definitely would make sense," said Matt Brown, a spokesman for the Enough Project, a U.S. group working to end genocide and crimes against humanity in Central Africa, according to CBS News.
"The U.S. doesn't have to fight al-Qaida-linked Shabab in Somalia, so we help Uganda take care of their domestic security problems, freeing them up to fight a more dangerous - or a more pressing, perhaps - issue in Somalia. I don't know if we would necessarily say that but it's surely a plausible theory," Brown said.