Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reason #15 To Fly A Peace Globe ~ Ugandan Civil War

Reason #15 to fly a peace globe ~ The Ugandan Civil War, Joseph Tony and The Lord's Resistance Army (L.R.A) 

There are more than thirty ongoing violent conflicts waging right now around the globe. The United Nations defines Major Wars as military conflict inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. Wikipedia expands that definition to include wars that cause destruction and humanitarian crisis of outstanding severity." Ongoing civil wars fueled by racial, ethnic, or religious differences come with a new twist that distinguishes them from wars in previous generations - civilian casualties. During World War I non-combatants made up less than 5% of casualties. Today, the number is a staggering 75% civilians killed or wounded. Less than thirty days from now we will engage in another BlogBlast For Peace. By my research and estimation, there are at LEAST 30 very good reasons to fly a peace globe. To begin your activism. To increase our awareness of the suffering of others. To talk about peace. To write about peace. To be part of a larger voice for peace. To invoke peace. To pray for peace. To focus on peace.To wage peace.

Need a reason to fly a peace globe?
Here's reason #15 ...

The Second Civil War in Uganda and Sudan
Began 1987
Casualties: 12,000+ thousands displaced and homeless

The background of this conflict is spiritually based and fascinating: An event called The Holy Spirit Movement led by a Ugandan woman named Alice Auma, a spirt-medium, who believed that she channeled the spirit of a dead Italian Army officer called "Lakwena" (meaning "messenger). The Acholi people of Uganda believed this was a true manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Never mind that she was reportedly "possessed" by a spirit and went insane around the time she "got" the spirit who told her to go to the desert for 40 days. When she returned, she was hailed as a true medium by the African people in the region. She created a "Holy Spirit Movement" in response to the brutality of the Ugandan government in the 90s "to end the bloodshed" and establish a "paradise on earth". Believe it or not, she convinced the rebel Ugandan People's Democratic Army to give her control over a part of their military.

At first, they successfully won battles over government army forces and she/they gained support. But soon the practice of singing hymns while walking into battle in cross-shaped formations, smearing protective oil on combatants and expecting rocks to explode, caused the UPDA to think again. They turned on the Holy Spirit Movement and Alice.

But witchcraft thrived in the region. The Tale of The Paraa was the central text of the movement, in which Alice claimed to have had conversations with the animals (a bear, a buffalo & a hippopotamus), the water, the mountains, the rocks, and finally God himself. (Click the above link for more details.) But The Holy Spirit Movement suffered tremendous defeats at the hands of the government army and Alice (aka Lakwena) was, herself, accused of being a witch. She fled and died of a mysterious illness in January 2007. The Holy Spirit Movement's Army eventually fell apart but small splinter groups of fighters still remain in Uganda - terrorizing - to this day - the Acholi people in the region.

in 1987, another spirit-medium out of Alice's Holy Spirit Movement arose and began the Lord's Resistance Army based on the same beliefs - and the HSM-based movement is led today by Tony Kony. They believe they are being led by Biblical principles, specifically The Ten Commandments. The Lord's Resistance Army continues to operate in Uganda, as well as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, attacking civilians and abducting youth. A 2006 study estimated that 66,000 children and youth had been abducted over the course of the 20-year conflict. Attacks on civilian villages still occur as do the practice of child abduction, forced soldiery and child sex slaves. 
Kony was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in 2005, but has since eluded capture. 

WHERE? East African countries of Uganda and parts of Sudan

WHO is fighting? The Lord's Resistance Army (a rebel self-proclaimed "Christian" guerrilla army led by a man who calls himself the "spokesperson of God") and The Ugandan Government military known as the Ugandan People's Defence Force

WHY are they fighting?
The Lord's Resistance Army wants to establish a theocratic government in Uganda. A theocratic government is a form of government in which a 'god' or 'deity' is recognized as the supreme civil ruler. The aim is to replace existing civil governments.

The LRA has been accused of gross human rights violations including the practice of forcing children to serve in the army.

Peace talks were held in 2006 but quickly fell apart when both sides failed to uphold their end of the negotiations.

At right: A soldier stands guard at one of the 18 camps for internally displaced people in the Kitgum region. Nearly 15,000 people live in this camp which was built in 2003, after the anti-government rebels threatened massive attacks on nearby villages. The people fled for their lives and reside here - guarded and displaced.

I am appalled by the needless suffering in my world.
If words are powerful, then this matters.

Come on. Join the revolution.

Nov 4, 2012
One day
One subject One voice

*source: Wikipedia
Copyright © Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

This is an excellent series of very well written posts. Thank you!

Desert Songbird said...

The priests at my parish are from Uganda and Kenya. We hear of these atrocities all the time; the people of my parish, in our own small way, have "adopted" several dozen children in order to help them earn an education and live safely. It's a very small movement, but every small movement makes a big impact.

RennyBA said...

There is thousands of reasons and that's why I think its brilliant to show the power of blogphere to focus and let people know. In that way you are a shining star and a great model Mimi Lenox.

Thanks for plugging me - looking forward to meet you all at the 4th of June!

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