Sunday, January 9, 2011

Uganda abductions, killings, brutal group without religious connections. inflicting cruel damage wherever they can.

No political objective. reneged on discussions of peace. wants to stay where he is. LRA has a soldier element of 3-400, with about ten key leaders. Soldiers know no other life, and have been abducted into the ideals of Coney. Women have been forced to be sex slaves of the commanders, and is now over several countries.

But it is very effective.

Darfur is based on race. LRA has not been accused of genocide, as in Darfur. But the LRA has been led by a crazy man for 2o years.

LRA are moving in several countries, they split up, in Congo, Sudan and Uganda, Where they are spreading devastation of their movement.

Why is it so hard to find the man and stop him?

Jungle area, not an easy task. Ugandan army, other army has benefited and profiteered. No rush to stop it. Must be a significant change not led by the Ugandan military to stop this. International community has funded many within the Ugandan government military.

Why has the UN not been more engaged?

LRA is going across borders, in remote places, in countries with other conflicts. e.g. congo has focused peacekeeping in the east, and has not responded to problems in other areas, and across borders.

Legislation before President Obama, has objectives and protections and efforts to disarm abductors,...*  the political will there.

More agressive efforts are needed.After Somali, US is not rushing there, is the problem.

Only need a small military approach, e.g. local trackers.

What keeps you going back to such dangerous work that puts your life in significant risk:

I'm angry. Not a magazine has published the conflict...We need people to listen and understand this has to stop.

Observe and report to make sure it does not sit there in silence: Ida:
I want change, and we have to keep pushing. Witnesses have never told their story and bring it to the outside world, to know what they have suffered, and change and bring those reponsible to justice. 4 min clip. please help us to President Obama." Dear Obama"
background anna politicenter website.

What do you have to be sensitive to when you go there?

Depends on how soon after attack. Everyone reacts differently. Some don't want to talk, but usually they do. We have to be sensitive and take signs from them, and have a good interpreter.

Should we play the role of the world's policeman.

Where the attacks are horrific, and govt does not have will, expertise & * we should act.

If 50 schoolchildren were abducted, what would we do in America? Why is it different when it is in Congolese Africa?

New outlets don't have funding to send reporters into region. Doesn't mean conflict is over, just that there is no money to send journalists out there. Politicenter and Human Rights Watch are important places that should be funded to watch this. Much wider coverage in Europe.

French Army have not been in LRA affected areas.

Coney uses spiritual element to instil fear. People believe him, and that he has special powers to escape attacks. People believe they will be forced back into group if they try to escape because of his special powers.(which he doesn't have) . Sawyer, grew up in St Albans parish.

There isn't much Christianity, invoking spirits more.

He would go up on the hill, making cell phone calls, controlling people by coming down and telling people about when attacks would come and making rules. Chidren do not hear from families who want them to come home.

Coney and a handful of others need to be taken, others were victims of abduction. Enslavement have had continued consequences. Children forced to kill, reintegration problems, if lucky enough to find and live again with family. eg 12 year old girl couldn't remember how many she had killed, about 4 a is hard. Was told people are animals, had no psycho-social support to try to help her recover, thousands like this.

Areas are like this. eg. wanted football to get out aggression. No other ways to vent anxiety, need to learn how to play, having lost their whole childhood. Schools close, and generations are lost: change agents, educators and doctors are lost...whole communities are lost.

Put pressure on our government, be effective and successful. Support humanitarian organizations.

GWU at 6:30 this week, to hear the Congolese to hear more.

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