28,390. That’s the number of the nearly 30,000 children from the corrupt, east African countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Uganda, and South Sudan that have been ripped from their homes and unwillingly placed into the volatile hands of one of the most violent crimes against humanity ever seen in the world’s history.
Taken as refugees, drugged, raped, and given a machete, the youth that have been abducted into the LRA, or Lord’s Resistance Army, have formed the foundation for the increasingly publicized terrorism that has gripped the eastern side of Africa.
Kony, one of the world’s most hated men, and wanted criminals, is responsible for the deaths and kidnappings originating in Uganda, and spreading around its borders.
Raided by rebels, Julius Peter Otto describes the atrocities he faced and the hardships he survived. “You would walk and fall several times, but because of the fear of being killed, you had to struggle to keep on your feet,” said Otto. “I carried very heavy loads, as they beat me up the whole time, threatening to kill me if I slowed down,” as described in allAfrica.com’s article about his traumatic experience. He is just one of the thousands of voices that have endured the violent ongoing war, but was fortunate enough to be heard.
With numerous both individual and large scale incidences such as these reported throughout the world, the struggles, deaths, and hardships faced by the victims have been slowly revealed. And yet, true progress has yet to be seen.
Although Kony’s influence has begun to dwindle within Uganda, his malicious and menacing political power continues to remain present throughout the bordering countries of Uganda and the entirety of Africa. His reign to superiority has branched off of his use of spiritual propaganda, causing his followers to believe that he himself had been sent from God in an attempt to purify the people of Uganda.
As a result, the soldiers within his grasp have been dehumanized, defiled, and detached from both the ethical and humane. His most common technique in this deterioration is forcing the children he abducts to murder their own parents in cold blood so they will have no home to return to.
Recent attempts have been made to thwart this malevolent crusade such as media protests started by human interest groups as well as mild U.S. military intervention seen last October when president Obama deployed 100 troops to Uganda in order to provide assistance.
But, even as these steps are being made the priorities of large militaries in countries such as the U.S. must be questioned. Why spend millions of dollars on the prospect of resources, the unknown possibility of weapons when thousands of people no different then are selves are being deprived, tortured and murdered at the hands of corrupt governments?