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Statement by the President on Enhanced State Department Rewards Program

Today I signed into law S. 2318, the Department of State Rewards Program Update and Technical Corrections Act of 2012. This legislation will enhance the ability of the U.S. Government to offer monetary rewards for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of foreign nationals accused by international criminal tribunals of atrocity-related crimes, and of individuals involved in transnational organized crime.

This powerful new tool can be used to help bring to justice perpetrators of the worst crimes known to human kind. This includes individuals such as Joseph Kony and other leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), as well as certain commanders of M23 and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). All of these individuals face charges before international criminal tribunals for horrific acts, including attacks on civilians, murder, the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and rape. We have made unmistakably clear that the United States is committed to seeing war criminals and other perpetrators of atrocities held accountable for their crimes, and today's legislation can help us achieve that goal.

The legislation also authorizes the U.S Government to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of individuals involved in transnational organized crime, such as money laundering and trafficking in persons, arms, and illicit goods. This important new tool will support my Administration's Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, bolster our fight against the scourge of modern slavery, and protect our national security.

[Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 15Jan13]

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