LRA

we’ve been beaten
raped
starved
forced to kill or be killed
murdered in the name of a war
we care nothing for
a war we dont understand
or ever want to
no family
no friends
just midget wanna-be soldiers
carrying guns way too heavy
for our hearts
dog eat dog
we eat dog
or rat
or bird
or bug
whatever we can find
eaten raw
like our skin in this sun
and this god-forsaken heat
bend a knee
to the lord’s resistance army

The Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, is a rebel movement begun innocently in 1986 as a means of combatting injustice and inequality. Founded and based primarily in Uganda, Africa, it is led by a man named Joseph Kony. And, as so many uprisings against governement powers, what started with good intentions has morphed into something distructive. The LRA claims to be a Christian movement, and Joseph Kony claims to hear directly from the Spirit of God and that they are merely following the Ten Commandments as a movement. However, they have broken pretty much every single commandment during the 25 years of conflict. In fact, based upon their tactics, it’s hard to believe that they could possibly ascribe to Christian belief. “You can’t tell whether they want political power. Its only aim is to terrorize and brutalize the civilian population and to loot their homes.” – UPDF Lt. Col. Shaban Bantariza (quote from Wikipedia article on Lord’s Resistance Army.) Many believe that the LRA is no more than a terrorist group disguising themselves as a Christian based movement.

The LRA uses tactics of physical and emotional intimidation to seduce children to join their forces. There are believed to be about 3,000 soldiers fighting for the LRA; the majority of which are children. In fact, since 1987, when the LRA first began fighting, they have forced well over 10,000 boys and girls into combat, killing family, neighbors, and school teachers in the process. They put the children on the front lines where the casualty-rate is extremely high because children are easily replaced by raiding schools and villages.

In 2009, President Obama signed into law the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. It’s goal is to capture Joseph Kony, disband the LRA, and begin to bring restoration to the country of Uganda and other African nations affected by the LRA’s distruction. Following the Act, in October of 2011, Obama sent troops to Uganda to begin to track down the leaders of the rebel forces and bring justice.

There are thousands of children in Africa displaced, homeless, orphaned, abused and traumatized because of the LRA. These children deserve to have a childhood! One free from the terror of being enslaved as a soldier or sex slave in the LRA’s rebel armies!
While I am grateful for the action that our president is taking in this fight, and the awareness it has brought to the existence of such atrocities, I believe that this cannot be left entirely to governements. It is going to take us as believers and followers of Christ to rise up and beat our breasts on behalf of those child soldiers and their families! Change in the physical reality of the state of Uganda cannot happen until we have brought down the spiritual forces at work in Africa!

For more information on the LRA and how you can get involved in the fight to bring healing and justice, visit www.invisiblechildren.com or www.LRAcrisistracker.com.

~Krista Miller

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