The Lost Children of Uganda

(additional information can be found in this BBC article from 2004, or by searching LRA, Night Commuter, or Uganda Crisis on Google)

Imagine a war that is fought by children, some as young as 7, against children their own age. Imagine being abducted and then forced under threat of death to kill or maim your own siblings. It sounds barbaric and obscene, yet it happens today. Organizations like World Vision, Save the Children, and others are engaged in center of a political and cultural war that is claiming the lives of thousands of children in Northern Uganda.

Take the time to look at the articles above. They are eye opening – or google the LRA or Ugandan Children

What do we do? The greatest travesty would be to sit idley by and do nothing. Spread the word. Talk about it at school and at church. Lets ask our politicians why something as inhumane as this can be allowed in our world today. Children by the thousands are walking up to 8 miles per night just to sleep in safe compounds to avoid abduction by the LRA, then walking home in the mornings to try to go to school.

Some excerpts from the Christianity Today article:
Even while LRA terrorism directed against children has intensified, the U.S. government has not made the conflict a high priority. Many believe that without U.S. involvement, the abductions, killing, and maiming will continue.

In August 2004, the U.S. government enacted the Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act, which essentially calls LRA terrorism a great tragedy, offers limited support for a negotiated solution, and warns Sudan not to support the LRA. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said, "I will remain committed to stopping the horror that has stolen the innocence of so many Ugandan children." The Bush administration has placed the LRA on tier two of its Terrorist Exclusion List, which means the LRA is judged not to be a threat to U.S. interests.

The people most familiar with LRA terrorism agree that the best hope for ending the carnage is putting it on the radar screen of the Western world. Akello Lwanga, a physician, spent two years treating LRA victims at an internally displaced persons camp in Pader. "If Americans saw this on TV as often as they see the Middle East," he said, "it would stop."

"There are a lot of sympathetic [members of Congress], but no significant leadership to move the issue to the point where there are congressional hearings, and hearings are one of the first important steps to focus administration and congressional attention on the severity of the issue," said Rory Anderson, senior Africa policy adviser for World Vision. "Hearings will not happen unless people contact their members of Congress and demand it."

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One Response to “The Lost Children of Uganda”

  1. chadhouck Says:

    Thanks to Mike Herman of Christianity Today who shot me this press release today:

    (Nashville, Tenn.) March 28, 2006 – With sold-out concerts, record sales approaching six million, and an enormous and active fan base, two-time GRAMMY-winning rock band Third Day is choosing to not rest on its laurels. Instead band members are intensely dedicated to making a difference in a tragic situation occurring across the globe in war-torn and poverty-stricken Uganda, and bringing this urgent message to over 150,000 fans they will meet on its current tour.

    During its current, record-breaking “Wherever You Are Tour,” this Atlanta-based band is working to raise money and awareness to address the “Child Soldier” crisis in Gulu, Uganda. Third Day’s bassist Tai Anderson described the band’s involvement, “Last year we were introduced to a film called “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” that documented the tragic situation in Gulu in which children are taken from their homes, armed with machine guns and sent into rebel warfare for the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). We immediately wanted to bring resolution, aid and awareness to this issue, and we knew our fans would want to be involved as well. We are grateful to have the opportunity to come alongside World Vision’s ‘Children Of War’ campaign that exists to rehabilitate these kids and give them a hope and a future.”

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