Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tears For Africa

Day 8 – a photo that makes you angry/sad

This is a picture of a child soldier in Africa, who was abducted by Joseph Kony. He’s a dictator in Uganda, who is abducting children from their homes and forcing them to become killers and fight in his war, which has gone on for over 25 years. Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, also known as the LRA.

I’m involved in an organization called Invisible Children, which works to end the war and rescue the children. Here’s what they have to say:

“The war in northern Uganda has been called the most neglected humanitarian emergency in the world today. For the past 23 years, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda (GoU) have been waging a war that has left nearly two million innocent civilians caught in the middle. The GoU's attempt to protect its citizens from this rebel militia has largely failed, resulting in an entire generation of youth that has never known peace.

In recent years more and more international attention has been focused on this crisis. In 2001, the US Patriot Act officially declared the LRA to be a terrorist organization - a huge step in drawing attention to the conflict and the atrocities committed by the LRA. In 2004, Congress passed the Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act, the first piece of American legislation to address this disaster. And in 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and four of his top commanders.

On December 24th 2008, the LRA launched a retaliatory attack against the people of DR Congo. In apparent desperation and a renewed will to spread terror to DR Congo, the LRA murdered over six hundred and abducted more than one hundred and sixty children to fight amongst its ranks. More than 104,000 Congolese have been displaced since Christmas in attempts to escape the LRA forces.As the motives of the LRA become more ambiguous and their crimes more horrific, Invisible Children remains committed to seeking sustainable solutions to foster an environment that encourages peace. We are supporting and equipping a generation ravaged by war so that they can finally know peace. Invisible Children addresses the need for access to education and economic development through innovative programs on the ground.”

It makes me so furious that one man can instill such terror and fear in so many. We need to do as much as we can to make this a known conflict, since so many people are unaware of the war that’s changed so many people’s life.

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