Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kony 2012

I've been occasionally following the story of Joseph Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), and their insurgency in northern Uganda since I visited Uganda in 2006. I was only in southern Uganda, with a group of volunteers connected with my church. I posted a couple of stories about that here and here. While I was there I met some people who lived in the north. Some had lived in internally displaced person (IDP) camps. I can't remember how closely they'd been affected by the violence.

So I prayed for the people of northern Uganda. I occasionally looked for news about it and was happy to read about a peace agreement later that same year. Things were never actually settled between the government and the LRA though, and some violence continued, but it decreased.

I read about some of the complexity of the issue of what to do about the LRA, and I wrote something about that here. It had more to do with reconciliation with the kids that had killed people (they had been forced to fight with the LRA), but also looked at how attempts at arresting Joseph Kony could actually perpetuate the violence. Unfortunately the links on that post don't work anymore.

After a while, I stopped looking for news stories about this issue. I can't remember if I ever wrote to anyone in the government about it or if I did anything else to help the situation, but as often happens when people care about events happening far away, I thought about this less and less.

Recently, the "Kony 2012" video produced by Invisible Children has gone viral. Joseph Kony is becoming a household name around the world, and I am reminded that the LRA is still around and that things in northern Uganda still haven't been resolved. I admit I haven't watched most of the video, so I can't comment directly on the video. But I have seen some thoughtful responses, such as this one by Rachel Held Evans. It doesn't give a firm opinion; it looks at the complexity of the issues and tries to avoid idealism and cynicism.

Once again, I'm praying for the people of northern Uganda. I don't know what else I'll do, or what I can do. Maybe I can find a way to advocate for peace, not on Invisible Children's terms, but on the terms of northern Ugandan civilians. Maybe there are other charities to support that work in a more constructive way with the LRA's victims. Does anyone know of any?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how you had mentioned grace is a key to this issue in 2007, and now it's again been name is a key in that article you quoted in this new blog.
I have to say I agree with both of you that grace is important in this and many other situations in life.