Children of War, Joseph Kony and Beyond: Suffer the Little Children

The real Joseph Kony, more than a click away
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Deliver Us from Joseph Kony

The year-old is believed to be moving with between 20 and 30 loyal fighters, several wives, his two sons and hundreds of followers. The Ugandan Army defends the practice. Archived from the original on March 10, Because of logistics and the long delay, I was able to stay only long enough to see the other leaders, who in their self-decorated military fatigues would have almost looked like children themselves were they not trailed by such a brutal, violent legacy. Meanwhile, light years of social development away, in Germany the crowds are filing in to cheer on the women of Japan, USA, Sweden, and France as they battle the Cup down to just two opposing teams.

The necessity of information, of course, is one of the central tenets of journalism, and part of the drive behind Kony , a film with the explicit aim of raising awareness and provoking action against Joseph Kony and the LRA. The substantial difference, however, between the news report and the activist video lies in the intent. The hundreds, if not thousands, of stories written about Joseph Kony and the LRA over the past twenty years have tried to present a short and fleeting glimpse of the violence and havoc wrecked by the militia.


At their best, they have also offered insight into the exploitation of ethnicity and identity in northern Uganda, and the role the Ugandan military has played both in arming, killing, and trying to bring peace to the region. Kony wants both.

Entering the fray

It wants to tell us about Joseph Kony and his atrocities, but much more than that, it wants to convince us that there is a solution — that we need not sit helpless on the sidelines while children in Africa suffer because there is something we can do, and that something is as easy as a click of a button. This movement believes devoutly in fame and information, and in our unequivocal power to affect change as citizens of a privileged world. Mac owners can help end the conflict in eastern Congo by petitioning Apple; helping to end the war in Darfur is as simple as adding a toolbar to your browser.

The most recent failed peace negotiations, of which that meeting in Garamba was one phase, involved years of coordinated effort between Ugandan, South Sudanese and Congolese officials and was proceeded by a US-supported military strike against the LRA that killed eight Guatemalan special forces as they tried to capture Vince Otti.

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They failed for the same reason that it took us two wars, billions of dollars, and more than a decade to kill Osama Bin Laden. To claim they were invisible because a group of college students traveling through Uganda happened to stumble upon a war they were too ignorant to have known of before going to the region is, to put it mildly, patronizing. By the time the organizers arrived in Uganda and created Invisible Children, northern villages such as Gulu were crowded with NGOs and aid workers and the largest humanitarian concern, by far, was the housing conditions of the more than one million people living in camps for the internally displaced.

The more you know, the more you understand that the answer has nothing to do with fame, money, posters, bracelets, tweets, or even sending one hundred military advisors to aid in the military efforts to capture Kony. The more you know, the more you have to question the millions of dollars in military aid the US government has already given the Ugandan government, whose president, Yoweri Museveni, has all but abandoned any prospect of democracy or dissent.

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It would also help to know that the last peace talks, which failed in , included an offer of amnesty to Kony, the same amnesty that has already been granted to dozens of other LRA leaders who, despite having raped, abducted and murdered, can be found drinking in the bars of Gulu.

Gordon has also been a grant recipient of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting for a project on justice in post-war Liberia.

I was a child soldier. Now I’m pushing for more support for survivors like me

Laura Seay is an assistant professor of political science at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she teaches courses on African politics, conflict, and international affairs. She blogs at Texas in Africa. Sam Menefee-Libey is a youth organizer who focuses on supporting campus activists. He has experience working on a broad spectrum of economic and social justice issues, including anti-oppression, education and environmental justice. She blogs at www. Amanda Taub is a lawyer who teaches international law and human rights at Fordham University.

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His research focuses on questions of political violence and intervention in Africa, with a focus on the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine and on the International Criminal Court. He has also worked extensively with Human Rights Focus, a grassroots human rights organization based in Gulu, northern Uganda.

Attorney in Nashville, Tennessee. Previously, he worked as a law clerk and consultant to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and, prior to that, as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. Nibbe is a professor at Hawaii Pacific University. She is currently working on a book about the socio-political effects of humanitarian aid in the context of the conflict in northern Uganda. To conduct research for the book, she lived in northern Uganda for over two years in both Gulu town and Opit internal displacement IDP camp — starting when the war was in full-swing and ending in Peace Talks.

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Daniel Kalinaki is a Ugandan investigative journalist who is noted for his coverage of corruption in the Ugandan government and army. Rebecca Hamilton is the author of Fighting for Darfur, a multi-year investigation into the impact of the Save Darfur campaign. A Pulitzer Center grantee, she was formerly the special correspondent in Sudan for the Washington Post.

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As a lawyer she spent two years working at the International Criminal Court. Alanna Shaikh is a global health specialist who has been working in international development for nearly a decade. Jina Moore is an independent multimedia journalist who covers human rights, conflict and aftermath, and Africa.

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Her collected work and blog are available at www. His work includes serving as a founding board member of Hive Colab in Kampala, Uganda -- a co-working space for young digital entrepreneurs working on web applications in Uganda. As an active social entrepreneur, he is a director and shareholder in Uganda Medicinal Plants Growers, ltd. Ruge is also the host of The Digital Continent Podcast, an interview podcast featuring the key innovators and entrepreneurs whose work is shaping the digital economies of Africa.

Uganda: The Horror | History | Smithsonian

He is working on the impact of International Criminal Court investigations on ongoing intrastate conflicts. He blogs at Justice in Conflict. For 4 weeks receive unlimited Premium digital access to the FT's trusted, award-winning business news. Premium Digital. Team or Enterprise. Premium FT. Pay based on use. Group Subscription.

A Tale of Two July 4ths

Children of War, Joseph Kony and Beyond: Suffer the Little Children - Kindle edition by Dr. John Wright. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC. First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army the full story behind the rise of Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army. Living with Bad Surroundings: War, History, and Everyday Moments in Northern Uganda . But beyond all of the details lies the underlying theme that Eichstaedt.

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