Seeking to more broadly tackle mass atrocities around the world, Obama on Monday also announced the first meeting of a new government panel, known as the Atrocities Prevention Board. He also asked the U.S. intelligence community to include assessments of the likelihood of mass killings in its National Intelligence Estimates.
Targeting atrocities in Africa, Obama said he was ordering a small contingent of U.S. troops to stay in Uganda, where they are helping regional forces pursue the militant Lord's Resistance Army and its leader, Joseph Kony, one of the world's most wanted men.
Before delivering remarks, Obama spent about 30 minutes touring the museum with Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor. The president and Wiesel quietly entered the museum's Hall of Remembrance, where they lit candles and paused, heads bowed, for a moment of silence.
Obama, in his first visit to the museum as president, placed his candle in the hall's Buchenwald section in memory of the concentration camp his great-uncle helped liberate at the end of World War II.
The White House announced Monday that Obama would be giving a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a wartime emissary of the Polish government-in-exile who was among the first people to provide accounts of the Holocaust to the world.
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