Oct 19, 2011

More on Uganda

Looking back at it, this post was kind of lazy, and not the kind of thing I want to be doing on a regular basis. Let's take a closer look, first with some background from AllAfrica:
Under both Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, Washington has provided "non-lethal" and logistical support to the Ugandan army in its efforts to subdue the LRA. The aid increased when Kony failed twice to sign a peace accord in 2008. Since 2008, Washington has provided over 40 million dollars in military assistance to regional armies fighting the LRA.
In December 2008, the Ugandan, DRC and southern Sudanese armies launched "Operation Lightning Thunder", a joint effort backed by U.S. intelligence and logistical support provided by Washington's newly created Africa Command (AfriCom) to track down Kony and his armed followers.
 Kony and much of his army escaped, however, and responded later that month by carrying out their own attacks against defenceless villages and civilians in the DRC and southern Sudan, killing nearly 1,000 people and forcing as many as 1.8 million others to flee their homes, according to human rights monitors.
They've also got a decent profile of the man behind the LRA, Joseph Kony:
Inspired by the words and drawn by the gripping charm of his cousin, Alice Auma Lakwena, a spirit-medium-turned-prophet, Kony established the Lords' Resistance Army (LRA), a ragtag force high on a warped blend of apocalyptic Christianity and nationalism.
In the 20 years that it has been in existence, that brutish group has killed more than 30,000 people in Northern Uganda and displaced two million others.
In recent years, their leader Kony has extended his hand across the border to several parts of Central Africa, causing chaos in his wake.
We also shouldn't forget the broader political context. Kony's group sprang out of serious persecution of the Acholi people in Northern Uganda—but in his madness, he's killed Acholi indiscriminately as well. This kind of stuff is forgotten by the US all too frequently; I'll try to stay up to date on it.

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