Friday, October 14, 2011

What is the LRA and why are we sending troops to Uganda?

You might have heard the news that President Obama announced that he is sending 100 troops to Central Africa to assist in stopping the LRA. If you are like me, this is the first time you've heard of that group and their leader Joseph Kony.

I found this video at a website for the non-profit organization Invisible Children.



From their website, here's a little bit about Invisible Children:

In the spring of 2003, three young filmmakers traveled to Africa in search of a story. What started out as a filmmaking adventure transformed into much more when these boys from Southern California discovered a tragedy that disgusted and inspired them, a tragedy where children are both the weapons and the victims.

After returning to the States, they created the documentary "Invisible Children: Rough Cut," a film that exposes the tragic realities of northern Uganda's night commuters and child soldiers.

The film was originally shown to friends and family, but has now been seen by millions of people. The overwhelming response has been, "How can I help?" To answer this question, the non-profit Invisible Children, Inc. was created, giving compassionate individuals an effective way to respond to the situation.

These young people have been on this issue for 8 years. They also have a blog. Here's part of their entry about Obama's announcement today.

Today’s announcement from The White House is a huge victory for the hundreds of thousands of young Americans who have been lobbying Washington to take action against the LRA. Over 230,000 youth have rallied three times with Invisible Children demanding action. This culminated in the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act that was passed with overwhelming support last year by both houses. It was the most widely supported African issue legislation in modern American history.

The comprehensive strategy taken by the Obama Administration to stop the LRA violence has been thoughtfully planned for the last year and a half following the passing of the bill. The military deployment today is just one piece in the overall structure of disarming the LRA and stopping their 26 year-long reign of terror and destabilization in the region.

We have seen first hand the need for greater action against the LRA, which is why we strongly applaud this deployment today. Invisible Children Founder Jason Russell, was invited into the LRA’s camp in Garamba National Forest in the D.R.C. This experience profoundly shaped our view of the LRA and our commitment to see the apprehension of the top leadership and the rehabilitation of the abducted child soldiers.

Right now estimates show that the LRA numbers are between 250-400 individuals. They are responsible for the abduction and murder of thousands. Their victims have been some of the most ignored and under-protected individuals in modern history, and America’s lead in protecting them is a deeply moving statement to the world...

Combining last year’s legislation and The President’s actions in support of peace in Central Africa, we see an America poised to be recognized as a supporter of lasting solutions and stability around the world. The youth of today understand that when we think of human beings first, the economic and security concerns naturally follow. When we focus only on power and force, we breed a global generation with distaste and distrust of our nation.

God bless these young people for their compassion and spirit!

2 comments:

  1. And, Ms. Pants

    THANK YOU for this piece as well. You're one of the first "Pragmatti" that I've seen to supply some info. about this development. And, I've been lookin' around this morning. Saw a headline about it on MSNBC, but I did not want to start to try to understand this by reading an msm approach to this matter.

    I'm quite sure we will be hearing much more about this - and Uganda - in the coming days.

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  2. I am working on this for a Report so How did the LRA Start???

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