Well, the first thing we need to realize is that the situation in Central Africa is not restricted to Uganda. In fact, the LRA is relatively inactive in Uganda now. The main affected areas are Sudan and the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). The war being waged right now, between the LRA, the SPLA, the Sudanese government, the Ugandan government, and the DRC is chiefly over cultural differences; the main focus here is the strain between the Acholi/Langi people and the rest of Central Africa (in reality).
History teaches the best lessons:
What must be learned is how this war came to be. How did the belligerents come into existence and where did they get their resources from? That’s always important to ask. Well, it’s simple really. There was a tug-of-war at Uganda’s initial independence from Britain. First, Milton Obote took over (after leading Uganda to independence); he was Acholi. Then, Qaddafi, receiving aid from a U.S. propped-up Egypt sent aid to Amin to take over. Well, he did. He was then overthrown in the late 70’s by an Acholi-dominated military. The regime established was ruled by, again, Obote. Later, Tito Okello would take Obote’s seat.
Well, the National Resistance Army wanted to overthrow the Acholi government in the mid-80’s. This Army was backed by Qaddafi. Again. After they took over, they instated Museveni as their President. He is still in office today, and is commonly regarded as a dictator. He doesn’t like the Acholi people too much, and they don’t like him.
Enter the Lord’s Resistance Army, a.k.a. Kony’s Army. They view themselves as, still, the rebels. They want to overthrow the current dictatorship and replace it with another dictatorship. Though, they would be no where without the help of the Sudanese government. Sudan funnels money into the LRA. Where does Sudan get their money? I’ll say it again: Sudan gets billions per year from the U.S. We are inadvertently strengthening the LRA.
Sudan does this because, well, they’re in a bit of a civil war as well. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army opposes the current Sudanese government. So how does Sudan want to combat that? By fueling the LRA to help them in the fight against their rebellion. There’s a very similar situation in the DRC. Invisible Children exploits these differences by redirecting the focus of the SPLA to the LRA.
So the turmoil is in all of Central Africa. Invisible Children has perpetuated the problem in a few ways: (i) they called for a ceasefire. Such a ceasefire was achieved in 2006. All that Kony did with this was shift his armies around and build up his forces. Good progress for him. (ii) they lobbied to Obama to take action and send 100 elite military-men to train the Ugandan Army and the SPLA. He did so in October of 2011. This really only enraged the LRA and Kony. (iii) they’ve pulled other factions into war.
That’s just the brief history.
What must be taken from the history:
If you notice, the current conflict stems from British colonization and U.S. Middle-Eastern intervention. U.S. intervention and foreign aid gave fuel to these armies, while British intervention caused cultural disputes in the first place. So we know that intervention is bad, okay.
Stop propping up dictators. Stop sending foreign aid to these countries that go on their own conquests. Invisible Children is helping a dictator as is. And the SPLA and Ugandan Army are guilty of the same war crimes as the LRA. These consist of rape, looting, and recruitment of child soldiers.
So… Invisible Children helps a dictator, and uses evil armies to fight other evil armies in a civil war that was created by intervention. And their solution is more intervention. No. Not going to fly.
Stop the funding and you stop the wars. Really, all our intervention would do is bring more people into the war, destroy what little infrastructure these places have, displace more people, leave us at higher risk for attack, bankrupt us more, kill more people, and perpetuate the never-ending problems the region is in.
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