A brief response to Kony 2012
March 23, 2012
If you use Facebook or know someone who does, you probably have heard of or possibly even watched the “Kony 2012” video that was posted on YouTube recently. Produced by the organization Invisible Children, the video has brought international attention to warlord Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the long suffered situation in Northern Uganda. Through the video, millions have learned a bit about the violence that has plagued the Great Lakes region of Africa for decades.
Left out of the video was the fact that, for many years, faith communities have worked tirelessly to promote a peaceful solution to this terrible conflict. It is unfortunate that the efforts made by people of faith from groups like the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative or the Church of Uganda – Africans themselves working to solve their own conflicts – were not mentioned.
Read more about the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative here. (Staff shown in photo on right.)
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns is troubled about calls for more U.S. military involvement in this war torn region. Since 2008, the United States has given military assistance to Uganda, providing both Uganda and Burundi with about $45 million worth of U.S. American equipment, including four drones. Three years ago, 17 U.S. military advisors helped plan, fund, and support an attack on the LRA, and yet there is no peace in the region.
Faith in action:
The Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN), of which Maryknoll is a member, has provided this action alert for those who want to respond to this issue. Read AFJN’s alert here.
We endorse AFJN’s proposal in requesting that the Obama administration:
1) Promote democracy that respects people’s choice of their leader, presidential term limits, transparency, human rights, good governance and civil society empowerment in the region
2) Harmonize regional security strategies and development mechanisms within the region
3) Support capacity building of the African Union (AU)
4) Give U.S. support to the UN effort to end illicit trade of small arms