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Dee
 
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#BringBackOurGirls why not Save Africa?

20 May 2014, 10:26

This #tag went viral after some Few Celebrity went out and use it after the Boko Haram Abduction of Few Nigerian girls from a School…Truly speaking am very touched by this and on the other hand am disturbed cause the same thing happened From 1986 in the Acholi The Northern Part of Uganda as much as my heart don’t settle well with the country based on  the controversial Gay Bill signed to Law, But  what is happening there is very frightening and to make matters worse, our Leaders are keeping quiet on this the JOSEPH KONY (Leader of the LRA) who there are rumours that he stays not in the Jungle of Sudan who it happens that the Sudanese Government support with Money and Arms has been Abducting BOY Children and Killing Women and Children some Even Mutilating them by cutting their Lips, Ears or Burning their Houses while they are in there or rather killing their Parents in full view of their Off spring before his army abduct them

African Union

The truth of the matter is we have to ask our self this Question as Africans …What is the Role of AU (African Union) Mission to Uganda truly speaking u won’t get the answer even though we have a brewing pot in our Hands as African  this is the little they have done On 18 September 2012, the African Union launched an initiative in Nzara, South Sudan to take control of the fight against the LRA. The goal of the project was to co-ordinate efforts against the group by the ongoing operations conducted by the states of Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. However, some fear that these armies are looting resources in the region. The civilians have reported rapes, killings, lootings by the Ugandan army. At a ceremony to mark the handover of command in Yambio, the AU's special envoy on the LRA, said that while the Congo DR had not sent supporting troops, it had made some other unnamed support. "We need more support, I don't have to elaborate on these because my predecessor  has done this so well. We need support in terms of means of transport, communication, medicine, combat rations and uniforms for the troops tracking the LRA. This is particularly important and critical and most urgent for the central African troops who handed over their contingent despite the challenges facing them." Ugandan Defence Minister Chrispus Kiyonga said: "We are yet to fully agree on how this troops will operate because now they are going to be one force, a regional task force with its commander. There are two concepts: There are people who think that the SPLA [Sudan People Liberation Army] should only work on the side of Sudan, that the army of the Central African Republic should only work there [within its own borders]...but there is the other concept that some of us support, [which is] that once there is one unified force, co-ordinated force then it should go wherever Kony is. We think that way, it will be more effective." He added that the newest intelligence reports at the time has suggested the LRA then had only 200 guns and numbered about 500 people, including women and children

 Causes of the LRA conflict

There has been a problem of securing a consensus on any one theoretical and factual account of the cause of the LRA which still remains largely unresolved, with the theatre of violence shifted from Northern Uganda to DRC, CAR and Western Equatoria State of the Republic of South Sudan. The sheer duration and dynamics of the conflict has generated intervening and perpetuating factors, which have tended to blur the primary causes, incessantly linked to grievances that brought rise to even other civil strives in Uganda at large. These can be itemized as to include: ethnic dominance (or polarization) manifesting stereotypes, hate and enemy images; economic disparity (marginalization) and/or underdevelopment exacerbating poverty; inconsistent pseudo-democratic and autocratic regimes; and other complicating factors. But the primary source of evil in Uganda has been (and remains) ‘unique greed for absolute political and economic power by some individuals’.

Ethnicity, Stereotypes, Hate and Enemy Images

Part of the structural causes of the LRA conflict has been explained as rooted in the “diversity of ethnic groups which were at different levels of socio-economic development and political organization”. The colonial entity called Uganda was forged out of diverse nationalities and ethnic groups. To manage this diversity to suit imperial interest, mechanisms were put in place by the colonialist to make the different existing ethnic groups and nationalities see each other as manifestly distinct. Referred to as ‘divide and rule’, some commentaries portrayed the conflict in northern Uganda as a manifestation of this policy ably applied by the colonial and post colonial governmentsThis perceived policy fed by stereotypical prejudices and political misrepresentation of facts, to a large extend influenced the elites to resort to the politicization of ethnicity as a channel through which they can acquire and maintain political power in the country. The resultant stereotypical labels of “backwardness”, “primitivity”, “ignorance”, enemy images and stigmatization often ‘branding’ the ‘northerners’ arises from unprincipled political tribalism with which groups compete for public resources. Even officials of government have tended to legitimize oppression in ethnic terms. President Museveni himself metaphorically spoke of the Acholi as grasshoppers in a bottle “in which they will eat each other before they find their way out”. This unfortunate remark generated a lot of emotions among the Acholi people adding to the feeling that the war in northern Uganda has been designed as an instrument of vindictive governance. Enemy images have instilled insensitivity to the extent that people perceived as enemies, can be construed and ignored as inconsequential. A former Cabinet Minister who was a key figure in the Presidential Peace Team while addressing elders in Lango on the atrocities committed by the NRA in the northern districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Lira, Apac and Teso, warned them that “they did not matter as long as the south was stable”. This sense of betrayal on the northerners has festered into a groundswell of mistrust by the population against virtually any overtures from the government to the rebels.

This cynical strategy, some argue, was deeply rooted and employed in Luwero triangle by the NRM/A rebels during their five-year-bush war in order to garner popular support, while in essence their real underlying drive was “unique greed for absolute political power” in total abhorrence of democratic means

Economic disparity (and/or marginalisation), underdevelopment and poverty

The strong imbalance in the level of development and investment between Eastern & Northern Uganda on the one side, and Central & Western Uganda on the other perceived as the land of milk and honey, is a clear manifestation of economic marginalisation of the region, in spite of the fact that most top leadership in Uganda hailed from the north between 1962 to 1985. This marginalisation, deliberate or otherwise, with the adverse consequences of the war, has resulted into disparate poverty levels in northern Uganda, for the most part of the NRM’s 20 plus years’ rule. Although poverty at times may be treated as an escalating factor that creates resentment in society, its role in the conflict in northern Uganda is part and parcel of the underlying structural factors. The Poverty Status Report, 2003, indicates that “one third of the chronically poor (30.1%) and a disproportionate moving into poverty are from northern Uganda”, which constitutes a token 7% of Uganda’s population. Unemployment alone, among the youth drives them into violence for economic gain.

The State

The unstable nature and character of the State was a major factor and a grievance in the onslaught of conflict in Northern Uganda. The uprisings in Teso and Acholi sub-regions were compounded by the fact that the political and economic conditions at that time rendered the State thin on the ground. This was aggravated further by the activities of the NRM/A government, in which its responsibility to protect its subjects against rebels was severely dented by atrocities instead being committed against the population by the NRA. The issue of political legitimacy was raised in a Parliamentary Report of 1997:

“The question, which perturbs many, is whether there is a legitimate authority in place whose task is to protect lives and properties of its citizens. One also wonders if the rebellion has a sense of direction after June 1988 given its poor record of human rights abuses”.

Government’s failure to discharge its responsibility to ‘protect’ created a vacuum which could be exploited by different actors who might be political opportunists, criminal gangs or armed men, seeking political power or to carry on predatory acts. Joseph Kony and the LRA emerged and began to challenge and contest that tenuous authority. Therefore, when the Sudan establishment took advantage of the LRA and nurtured them in 1994, government authority was further undermined rendering a governance nightmare in the areas of conflict.

Trigger Factors

Two women in Gulu whose lips have been cut off by Lord's Resistance Army rebels.

The start of violence was immediately preceded by activities that reflected hardened positions of the parties to the conflict. When the formal means of addressing the grievances was not tenable and yet government continued orchestrating human rights violation, the condition for the other groups to resort to violence become inevitable.

The LRA is a consequence of an ethnic-oriented war that was initiated by the NRM/A in Luwero Triangle against the ‘northerners’. This was fuelled by the belief on the part of the leadership of the NRM/A that Uganda politics had since political independence been ‘dominated’ by the ‘northerners’ in the country and that this had happened because of their alleged domination of the armed forces. The determination was that this ‘domination’ of politics in Uganda by the ‘northerners’ was no longer acceptable and had to end. This suggested that until that objective of removing the ‘northerners’ from power had been achieved and all threats from those quarters removed, the war in the north had to continue.[66] The trigger factor to the conflict emerged when the NRM/A leadership intentionally breached the Nairobi Agreement, subsequently took over power by military means, and allowed the NRA to proceed and commit massive atrocities on the Acholi people in 1986, involving rape, sodomy, looting, defecating in dry food ratios and water pots, etc. The atrocities played into the hands of the Acholi former army officers and became the trigger factor that provided the spark for the outbreak of rebellion, eventually joined by the LRA to date.

Complicating factors

Resort to invisible spiritual forces to cleanse the evils predominantly in the armed forces was weirdly introduced. This became the “extension of politics by other means” since “normal” politics did not provide an avenue and mechanism for dealing with the increasingly complex problems in Acholi and Uganda in general. Spiritual actors were brought into play through metaphysical means to explain events and provide a moral basis for new forms of action to bring a semblance of moral order.

The autocratic actions of the political leadership in Uganda further created conditions for mistrust and suspicion among the different communities in Uganda. Such mistrust provided(s) the foundation for revenge syndrome in the psych of many people in Uganda. Social psychological studies of collective behaviors do forcefully argue that feelings of deprivation and frustration can tip over into and amplify a violent course of events, especially when small arms and light weapons were easily available.

Ideology

Drawing by a Ugandan child from memory. Translated caption states, "Rebels are heading towards Sudan led by Otii Lagony and Lagira. Many people were captured and when one failed to walk he was killed."

The LRA's ideology is disputed among academics. Although the LRA has been regarded primarily as a Christian militia, the LRA reportedly evokes Acholi nationalism on occasion, but many observers doubt the sincerity of this behaviour and the loyalty of Kony to either ideology

IRIN comments that "the LRA remains one of the least understood rebel movements in the world, and its ideology, as far as it has one, is difficult to understand."[40] During an interview with IRIN, the LRA commander Vincent Otti was asked about the LRA's vision of an ideal government, to which he responded,

Lord’s Resistance Army is just the name of the movement, because we are fighting in the name of God. God is the one helping us in the bush. That’s why we created this name, Lord’s Resistance Army. And people always ask us, are we fighting for the Ten Commandments of God. That is true – because the Ten Commandments of God is the constitution that God has given to the people of the world. All people. If you go to the constitution, nobody will accept people who steal, nobody could accept to go and take somebody’s wife, nobody could accept to kill the innocent, or whatever. The Ten Commandments carries all this.

In a speech delivered by James Alfred Obita, former secretary for external affairs and mobilisation of the Lord's Resistance Army, he adamantly denied that the LRA was "just an Acholi thing" and stated that claims made by the media and Museveni administration asserting that the LRA is a "group of Christian fundamentalists with bizarre beliefs whose aim is to topple the Museveni regime and replace it with governance based on the Bible's ten commandments" were false. In the same speech, Obita also claimed that the LRA's objectives are:

  1. To fight for the immediate restoration of competitive multi-party democracy in Uganda.
  2. To see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans.
  3. To ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda.
  4. To ensure unity, sovereignty and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans.
  5. To bring to an end to the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the National Resistance Army's ideology.

The original aims of the group were more closely aligned with those of its predecessor, the Holy Spirit Movement. Protection of the Acholi population was of great concern because of the reality of ethnic purges in the history of UgandaThis created a great deal of concern in the Acholi community as well as a strong desire for formidable leadership and protection. As the conflict has progressed, fewer and fewer Acholi offered sufficient support to the rebels in the eyes of the LRA. This led to an increased amount of violence toward the non-combatant population, which in turn further alienated them from the rebels. This self-perpetuating cycle led to the creation of a strict divide between Acholis and rebels, a divide that was previously not explicitly present.

Strength 

2007, the government of Uganda claimed that the LRA had only 500 or 1,000 soldiers in total, but other sources estimated that there could have been as many as 4,000 soldiers, along with about 2000 women and children. By 2011, unofficial estimates were in the range of 300 to 400 combatants, with more than half believed to be abducteesThe soldiers are organized into independent squads of 10 or 20 soldiers. By early 2012, the LRA had been reduced to a force of between 200 and 250 fighters, according to Ugandan defence minister Crispus Kiyonga Abou Moussa, the UN envoy in the region, said in March 2012 that the LRA was believed to have dwindled to between 200 and 700 followers but remained a threat: "The most important thing is that no matter how little the LRA may be, it still constitutes a danger [as] they continue to attack and create havoc."

Since the LRA first started fighting in 1990s they may have forced well over 10,000 boys and girls into combat, often killing family, neighbors and school teachers in the process. Many of these children were put on the front lines so the casualty rate for these children has been high. The LRA have often used children to fight because they are easy to replace by raiding schools or villages According to Livingstone Sewanyana, executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, the government was the first to use child soldiers in this conflict.

Although this is not proven, there has been rumors that Sudan may have provided military assistance to the LRA, in response to Uganda lending military support to the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA

Military Use of Children (BOYS) in Uganda

Over the past twenty years, the rebel Lord's Resistance Army has abducted more than 30,000 boys and girls as soldiers. Attacks against Uganda's Acholi people have resulted in severe trauma to civilians from extreme violence and abduction. Girls are often forced to be sex slaves The Uganda People's Defence Force has recruited small numbers of children into its forces as young as 13, including Local Defense Units In April 22, 2004, resolution 1539 was put in place by the United Nations Security Council

When discussing children in armed conflict there is much information to call upon. Nicola Ansell who wrote "Children, Youth and Development" is the source for my information on children in armed conflict. Ansell explains that each child is affected in different ways, often worse than what adults experience. Traditionally societies have aimed to protect the child in war. In Uganda, the Acholi people would avoid attacking children in order to facilitate post-conflict reconciliation According to the international law special treatment is given to children who are under 15 years of age; these children should not be illogically killed, maimed or tortured. Children within these criteria should be given food and shelter and allowed to remain with their families if possible. There are cases when these children are intentionally targeted, used as human shields, or killed by terrorists. Roughly 90% of the victims of war are civilians, estimating half to be children.

Children in war are often victim to accidental injury or untimely deaths as a result of their curiosity, land mines are an example of this, they are designed to injure adults but in fact they are the cause of roughly 10,000 children per year. However, the deaths usually occur long after the war is over. Children are not the target during a conflict, and if they are injured it usually by accident, most children are "secondary victims" or "observers" subjected to damage of family property or death/injury to their kin leaving them orphans. Roughly 1 million children have become orphans as a result from armed conflict leaving the internally displaced persons (IDP) or refugees overcrowded, unhygienic subjecting the children to disease

So one can’t help and ask this why is this has been swept under the carped and we have to see a media Frenzy after the Abduction Of Nigerian Girls is the because a Boy child is no Use to  a Girl Child and the World or let me rephrase  a Society care more of a girl Child than of a Boy Especially use South African cause we made a lot of noise of the #BRINGBACKOURGILRS campaign rather than the atrocity being carried out by the LRA in Uganda and let me put this in a manner where we can understand it from my point of view, it’s not only Islam’s who do all this in the Name of Religion am saying this because I have seen it and heard it being said that I just painted a Clear picture of what Christian can do and have done in the name of Religion not Only in Africa Even in the USA ………………….

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