Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army - LRA - in Uganda. He has led this army in a 19 year war against whatever government happened to be in power. The only stated goal of his army is that Kony might rule Uganda under the Ten Commandments. During the 19 years of his war, the LRA has abducted some 20,000 children. The kids are used as soldiers, porters, workers and sexual toys. Kony tortures, cripples and murders them in vast numbers. It is believed that his army is now almost entirely composed of kidnapped children.

The Ugandan government has offered amnesty to this monster and his commanders. Some commanders have surrendered and received amnesty, but so far Kony has refused. Now, tribal, government and religious leaders are worried that the International Criminal Court may issue a warrant for Kony's arrest for genocide and crimes against humanity. They say that if the ICC does this, Kony will exact revenge on the people, because the Ugandan Army is incapable of protecting them. I would say, after the abductions of 20,000 children, that is an understatement.

The Ugandan Army does, however, have the resources, manpower and weaponry to occupy parts of The Congo. Nor does the Ugandan government hesitate to participate in UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Sierra Leone and Liberia (for which the Ugandan government is paid in US dollars). The Ugandan Army also is happy to sign these children up to fight when they escape or are captured from the LRA. One would think it most reprehensible that a government that cannot protect its own children would spend so much energy and manpower mucking about on another country's soil.

Vincent Okot, 11, was 8 years old when he was abducted.
They regularly punished him with 50 lashes from a tree branch and, after a while, compelled him to kill innocent villagers. Vincent cannot remember how many. He recalls that most were women and he crushed their skulls with a club.

"I knew that if I failed to kill them, I would be killed."

"They were tied up and forced to lie down. Then the commander said to me, 'Take this club and go and kill them.' "

"I beat them until the skull was smashed and the brain was scattered all over."
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