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Joseph Kony and the LRA


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This week our students have had the opportunity to be part of real-time current events. With the media circus buzzing around Kony2012, Invisible Children, and the LRA – I created a (fairly) student-friendly powerpoint that objectively explains the background of Kony and the LRA. I am not getting into the hype surrounding supporters and opponents of Invisible Children, but have included them as well as other organizations at the end of the presentation to give students options regarding how to get involved.

No matter what people feel about Invisible Children, it’s obvious that they have created a successful awareness raising campaign. My students have had a lot of questions about the whole situation, so I created this powerpoint that I am now sharing with you.

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Joseph Kony and the LRA

  1. 1. #Kony2012It’s Complicated Basic info for students and society about the LRA, Joseph Kony, Invisible Children, and other aid organizations
  2. 2. Historical Background • The Acholi people live in the Gulu and Kitgum districts of northern Uganda. British colonial policy designated them as a source of labor and recruited them to positions in the military. • Alcholi power in the military continued after independence and served as a source of political power for the otherwise numerically inferior group, until Idi Amins coup d etat in January of 1971. • Amin removed Alcholi from their positions in the military and thereby deprived them of political power.Source: A Primer on the Lords Resistance ArmyBy Dean Pagonis, Feb 27,
  3. 3. Joseph Kony• Joseph Kony was born in 1961 in the village of Odek among the Acholi people of northern Uganda.• He inherited power through his aunt because she was the tribes mystic who started the Holy Spirit Movement, which sought to unseat the Kampala government.• This movement was started by his aunt, Alice Auma, and required that the Acholi people retake the capital city Kampala. Source:
  4. 4. Civil War and LRA• The initial motivation for civil war within Uganda was the overthrow of the Ugandan National Liberation Front (UNLF) government comprised mainly of Acholi in 1986 and the subsequent loss of the Acholis traditional power base derived from a large membership in the army as well as massacres by Musevenis forces.• The LRA derived its political agenda, much of its forces and large parts of its spiritual origins from previous groups, most notably the Uganda Peoples Democratic Movement/Army (UPDM/A) and Alice Lakwenas Holy Spirit Movement/Mobile Forces (HSM/MF).Source: A Primer on the Lords Resistance ArmyBy Dean Pagonis, Feb 27,
  5. 5. LRA• Kony refused to go along with a peace agreement in 1988 and splintered off with other soldiers.• With the combination of his military background and religious beliefs he created the Uganda Christian Democratic Army and began fighting against the government. In 1991 he changed the name of the group to the Lords Resistance Army. Source:
  6. 6. LRA• The LRA rebels stated that they fought for the establishment of a government based on the biblical Ten Commandments. They were notorious for kidnapping children and forcing them to become rebel fighters or concubines. More than one-half-million people in Ugandas Gulu and Kitgum districts had been displaced by the fighting and lived in temporary camps.• As the years progressed, the LRA lessened their attacks in Uganda and began to attack other regions. They spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR).• The LRA continued to plague these regions with their only goal being survival. They performed raids on remote locations to gather food, money, or people which would help sustain their rebellion. Source:
  7. 7. LRA and Sudan • In addition to the war crimes committed by the LRA to maintain money and power, Kony has been receiving significant amounts of aid from Sudan. • Sudan was involved in their own conflict and the LRA was used for the Sudanese governments struggle against the Ugandan backed Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army. • The absence of voluntary support from the Acholi community forced the LRA to rely on criminal activity and external Sudanese military assistance in order to fund its operations.Source: A Primer on the Lords Resistance ArmyBy Dean Pagonis, Feb 27,
  8. 8. Peace? • Peace was difficult to obtain in the period between 1999-2006 primarily because of the International Criminal Courts (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for top LRA leaders and the movement of some LRA rebels into the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo. • The LRA and Ugandan government signed a truce in August of 2006 and LRA members are currently assembling in camps for disarmament, although many have chosen to migrate north to southern Sudan. Joseph Kony has yet to emerge from the bush, and the Ugandan government has expressed its willingness to attack the rebels if further peace talks in southern Sudan fail. • International peace keeping is challenging due to the reluctance of the Ugandan government to allow foreign troops and the difficulty of persuading the Sudanese government to allow peacekeepers on its border.Source: A Primer on the Lords Resistance ArmyBy Dean Pagonis, Feb 27,
  9. 9. SUMMARY• The conflict between the LRA and the NRA dominated Ugandan government was primarily the result of the NRAs seizure of power and economic collapse in 1987.• The LRAs objectives were proclaimed to be spiritual and political; however in reality they were largely criminal. Indiscriminate violence served as the LRAs primary method for maintaining power, through a strategy which emphasized the use of fear over hatred.• The majority of the LRAs funding was derived from asset transfers, although between 1994 and 1999 the Sudanese government provided significant military assistance in the form of arms and funds.• The prospects for peace remain bleak unless the current fragile truce holds.
  10. 10. How to Help• There are many organizations out there working to improve the lives of people caught in the turmoil of Central African conflict.• Many are operated locally and others by the international community.• A few of these organizations are featured in the slides that follow:
  11. 11. Invisible Children• MISSION STATEMENT: Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Konys rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity.• “We are storytellers, activists and everyday people who use the power of media to inspire young people to help end the longest running armed conflict in Africa. We make documentaries, tour them around the world, and lobby our nation’s leaders to make ending this conflict a priority.”
  12. 12. Invisible Children: Where does the money go?Source: IC Annual Report, 2011
  13. 13. Invisible Children: Where does the money go?Source: IC Annual Report, 2011
  14. 14. War Child• Provides medical care, sanctuary and counseling to girls who have been the victim of sexual violence.• Creats safe havens where children can escape the dangers of life on the streets after war has forced them to leave home.• Rebuilds schools destroyed by war and getting kids out of army uniforms and into school ones.• Helps children get their voices heard and their rights met, and helping local people to protect their children better.•
  15. 15. Unicef • UNICEF partners with local Ugandan communities to provide them with the tools they need to protect, heal and empower former child soldiers. • The organization works to take guns away from children and moves children away from living in barracks. • When it comes to reintegrating ex-soldiers into their communities, UNICEF gives local centers shelter materials, medical services, counseling and job-training support. • www.unicef.orgSource: Kony 2012 And 7 Other Charities Fighting For ChildSoldiersFirst Posted: 03/ 8/2012 8:06 pm
  16. 16. Oxfam • Oxfam raises awareness of child soldiers in Uganda and lobbies for an end to war. • The organization provides clean water and sanitation to soldiers living in camps and provides counseling for returning child soldiers. • www.oxfam.orgSource: Kony 2012 And 7 Other Charities Fighting For ChildSoldiersFirst Posted: 03/ 8/2012 8:06 pm
  17. 17. Save the Children • Save the Children works to ensure that former child- soldiers, among other vulnerable populations, have access to basic services when theyre reintegrated. • The organization provides education, vocational skills training mentorship and more. Its ultimate goal is to help child soldiers establish their livelihoods. • www.savethechildren.orgSource: Kony 2012 And 7 Other Charities Fighting For ChildSoldiersFirst Posted: 03/ 8/2012 8:06 pm
  18. 18. The International Rescue Committee • The humanitarian organization offers medical and psychological attention and promotes community child protection committees. • The IRC also improves academic options and develops vocational-training programs. • Kony 2012 And 7 Other Charities Fighting For ChildSoldiersFirst Posted: 03/ 8/2012 8:06
  19. 19. SOS Children’s Villages • SOS Childrens Villages offers lifesaving support for these ex-soldiers with its family-tracing trauma counseling and community reconciliation. • www.child-soldier.orgSource: Kony 2012 And 7 Other Charities Fighting For ChildSoldiersFirst Posted: 03/ 8/2012 8:06 pm
  20. 20. Child Soldiers International • When Child Soldiers International was born, it pressed for a global ban on military recruitment of people below the age of 18 years. • Today, the organization works to implement the the treaty that was passed in 2002, according to its website , which more than 140 governments have ratified. • www.child-soldiers.orgSource: Kony 2012 And 7 Other Charities Fighting For ChildSoldiersFirst Posted: 03/ 8/2012 8:06