Don’t Turn a Blind Eye

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When you think about where violent acts against humanity are taking place in the world, do you think of Uganda?  If not then know this- during the past 23 years a war has been occurring in this country between two groups of people:  the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda (GoU).  

The LRA is a rebel army led by Joseph Kony, who is the top criminal wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).  It is estimated that more than 90% of Kony’s army consists of abducted children.  The number of children that Kony has separated from families is around 30,000.  Parents are uncertain if their children will return or if they will even survive. 

The GoU tried to protect their people in 1996 by putting individuals in relocation camps.  But, the overcrowding conditions and effects of starvation and disease have caused 1,000 of them to die every week.  Further many innocent lives are being taken by the LRA, as well as many people who live in fear.  

Nations around the world, along with the U.S. have offered their assistance and supported peace agreements to be signed in the past several years.  But, Kony has refused to give up his power and leadership.  This young generation in northern Uganda has only experienced times of war.  The time for peace is now.

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There was a viewing of the documentary created by Invisible Childrenand new details about the organization’s new plan to rescue the children of Uganda at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 in the Montour Lounge.  At this meeting, a discussion about the situation in Africa was led by Sarah Betlz, who is the leader of Amnesty International at BU.  Beltz stressed the need for as much participation as possible from BU students and faculty during the month of April. 

The first thing people can do is attend the Invisible Children’s screening of its newest film, “The Rescue” at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15 in the Kehr Union Ballroom.  Representatives from the Invisible Children organization will be there to inform people about the crisis in Uganda, Africa and let them know how to get involved in the national campaign to promote peace.

“Realize it’s not a boring documentary.  It’s interesting and not long,” Beltz promised, referring to the film. 

Also Beltz stated that students will have the opportunity to sign a petition or write letters to our government, including Barack Obama to help our nation’s leaders become aware of the magnitude and importance of this issue.  These opportunities will occur from 2-7 p.m. on April 2 outside the Commons and before and after the film to be shown on April 15.

If you would like to become a volunteer to help promote involvement on campus, contact Sarah Beltz at scbeltz@bloomu.edu.  More information about the Invisible Children organization can be found on www.invisiblechildren.com.

(Images courtesy of Invisible Children)

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