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An in class slide presentation about child soldiers, Joseph Kony and the LRA, to accompany Donna White’s novel, Bullets, Blood and Stones, the story of.

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Presentation on theme: "An in class slide presentation about child soldiers, Joseph Kony and the LRA, to accompany Donna White’s novel, Bullets, Blood and Stones, the story of."— Presentation transcript:

1 An in class slide presentation about child soldiers, Joseph Kony and the LRA, to accompany Donna White’s novel, Bullets, Blood and Stones, the story of a child soldier. Photo credit: Pierre Holtz / UNICEF CAR / hdptcar.net at hdptcarhdptcar.nethdptcar via Wikipedia Commons

2 Uganda’s history is filled with self serving leaders who have tainted the soil of Uganda red. Photo credit: Nightstallion via Wikipedia Commons Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (map) via Wikipedia Commons

3 Some bits of Ugandan history: Uganda becomes independent from Britain with Milton Obote as prime minister Obote promotes himself as president and gives himself considerable power. Army chief Idi Amin leads military coup and takes over in 1971, declaring himself as “President for life” in 1976 During Amin’s reign over 300,000 people were killed Obote returns in 1985 but is deposed of in a military coup Museveni comes to power in 1986 when National Resistance Army rebels take Kampala and install him as president Late 1980’s – Kony uses remnants of his cousin’s army and forms the LRA to retaliate against Museveni’s government For more than two decades, Kony and the LRA were responsible for the displacement of over two million people from their homes and the tens of thousands of people kidnapped, mutilated or killed

4 It is difficult for anyone to fathom the reason behind such horror. Nelson Ojok, a primary teacher at Kilak Corner IDP camp in Pader District in northern Uganda says it quite effectively: “This is a funny war. I cannot even describe it. The rebels are killing their own brothers and mothers. We are killing ourselves. We are confused.” Excerpt from “when the sun sets, we start to worry…” An account of life in Northern Uganda, A United nations OCHA/IRIN publication.

5 “Few conflicts rival (the Ugandan war) for sheer brutality. Civilians have been killed and mutilated. Thousands have been abducted, tortured and sexually abused. Many have been forced to commit atrocities or to look on, helpless, as others are beaten, raped or murdered. Abducted children are forced to work as laborers, soldiers or sex slaves.” Excerpt from “when the sun sets, we start to worry…” An account of life in Northern Uganda, a United Nations OCHA/IRIN publication

6 In the World Vision video, “Children of Northern Uganda: Searching for Peace”, Kony’s words are recorded as he speaks to a captured village: “Your nose will be cut off together with your ears and in the end the sword will kill you. Your children will be taken off into captivity and will be burned to death.” *Public Domain Clker.com Flag of the Lord’s Resistance Army Source’ R-41 via Wikipedia Commons

7 Many children lived in fear and left their homes every evening and walked to the nearest town or city. * public domain Photo by Doug Currie, used with permission

8 There they slept in the safety of bus terminals and other buildings that were opened up for their protection. * Photo by Doug Currie, used with permission

9 Families left their homes and moved to Internally Displaced Persons Camps to wait for the “war” to end. Photo taken by Rob Andrews. Used with permission Photo by Doug Currie, used with permission

10 To learn more about night commuters, child soldiers, child “wives” and the Gulu Recovery Centre go to: nbc/t/children-war-uganda/#.UfcaL9Kce8B nbc/t/children-war-uganda/#.UfcaL9Kce8B

11 Many young girls were forced to become “wives” for the soldiers. Photo by Doug Currie, used with permission

12 Photo by Ross W. Muir, Pawns of Politics, Used with permission

13 Weapons used by the LRA “The weapons used by the Lord’s Resistance Army were amassed over many years from several different sources. The weapons of choice for the LRA are the machete and the Kalashnikov assault rifle. The AK-47, is widely used both by militaries-including the Military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo-is also popular amongst militant groups, including LRA and the former Sudan People Liberation Army.” Information obtained from Photo: Lance Cpt. Jad Sleiman, USMC via Wikipedia Commons Photo by Ivan Yulaev {{GFDL}} Via Wikipedia Commons Photo by Yegorov Igor, SONY – Casio Exilim EX-Z3; uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Janmad Machete Kalashnikov assault rifle AK-47

14 “The AK-47 is a semi light weapon, weighing about 9 lbs. It’s short enough for a child to wield, and when it’s slung over the shoulder the gun balances so that it’s level with the ground. All the child has to do is pull the trigger. No strength is required.” Rob Andrews, UN Peace Keeper Photo by Rob Andrews, used with permission

15 Weapons used by the LRA “In 1994, the Sudanese government began to supply Kalashnikov rifles, Heckler & Koch G mm battle rifles, PK 7.62 mm general purpose machine guns, and ammunition to the LRA. It was also believed that the Sudanese government supplied the LRA with Russian-made 82 mm illuminating mortars and Russian-made SPG9 73 mm caliber recoilless guns along with various types of anti- personnel mines and rocket launchers.” Information obtained from Machine gun Illuminating mortars Photo Source: Curiosandrelics via Wikipedia Commons Photo Source\; Polish Military via Wikipedia Commons Land Mines Photo by Rob Andrews, used with permission

16 A sample of weapons seized by the Uganda People’s Defense Force from child soldiers abducted and forced into the service of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army. Photo by Ross W. Muir, Pawns of Politics, Used with permission.

17 And the “best weapon” of all: Children. “Children are more vulnerable, not fully matured and not independent decision makers. They are effectively easier to train and to brutalize and force into a very violent life.” Amnesty’s Sarah Greene as told to Jon-Anders Kindberg in The Situation, 2011 Photo taken by Joanna Robertson, used with permission

18 Why are there child soldiers? Increased availability of smaller and lighter weapons. Young children can easily carry an AK- 47. They are light weight and simple to use. Soldiers are likely to hesitate before shooting a child, which could cost the soldier his/her own life. Rising orphan rates in developing countries due to high rates of AIDS, HIV and Malaria. Orphanages that are filled to capacity leave many children out in the streets. These children are very vulnerable to recruitment as they are looking for a place to be accepted, fed and taken care of.

19 Why are there child soldiers? Higher poverty levels. Families may volunteer their children for these child soldiering rebel groups in order to get food and/or money. Child soldier recruitment in refugee camps. Children displaced from their families are vulnerable and easily recruited by child soldiers sent into the camps to gain more recruits. Camps are targeted by rebel groups to abduct more children. Children may also agree to become child soldiers when it means they have a greater chance to survive. Information obtained from The Child Soldiers Epidemic.

20 An Interview with Joseph Kony

21 Countries that use Child Soldiers Caution: Children at war. (2001) Retrieved from Used with permission.

22 Sometimes children are able to escape or are rescued Children rescued Painting by former child soldier Photo of painting taken by Doug Currie, used with permission Handover to World Vision Painting by former child soldier. Photo of painting taken by Doug Currie, used with permission

23 Thousands of children found refuge and restoration at recovery centres such as this World Vision/Unicef Gulu Recovery Centre * * * * All photos courtesy of Doug Currie, used with permission

24 When the children arrived at the centre they we’re greeted by other former child soldiers, and the singing and dancing began! * Photos courtesy of Doug Currie, used with permission

25 A young boy or girl can’t return to his or her carefree days of childhood once he or she has been forced to be a child soldier. Drawing by Rafaela Tasca and Carlos Latuff. via Wikipedia Commons

26 A long road to recovery awaits these children The following paintings and drawings were made by child abductees as part of their reintegration into the community. They were used as an outlet to discuss some of the events that occurred during their abduction. Photos of paintings by Doug Currie. Used with permission

27 How old do you think the child of this drawing was? Note the use of upper case letters and the simplicity in the drawing of the other children. Photo by Doug Currie, used with permission

28 “Otti Vincen shot a UPDF gunship as he stood on an ant hill.” (Vincen Otti was Kony’s deputy leader and was shot in front of a firing squad when Kony feared his army was following Otti rather than himself.) Photo by Doug Currie, used with permission

29 Children received counseling and medical attention. Photos by Doug Currie, used with permission

30 Photo by Ross W. Muir, Pawns of Politics, Used with permission.

31 Then, if possible, they were reunited with their families. Photo of painting by Doug Currie, used with permission

32 Many former child soldiers have become advocates for change. Formerly abducted children march for peace in the streets of Gulu. Photo by Ross W. Muir, Pawns of Politics, Used with permission.

33 Florence’s daughter was abducted by Joseph Kony and the LRA when she was a young girl. During the years while her daughter was missing Florence worked at the Gulu Recovery centre as a counselor. This is a photo of Florence embracing her daughter after she escaped and arrived at the Gulu Recovery Centre after nine years of captivity. Photos by Ross W. Muir. Used with permission

34 But life will never be the same for any of the children. Photo by Doug Currie, used with permission

35 Uganda now … Many of the people of Uganda are eager to put the horrors of the past twenty years behind them and focus on rebuilding their nation. Photo taken by Joanna Robertson. Used with permission.

36 Uganda now … People have been returning to their villages and starting over. Humanitarian organizations have aided in this new beginning by providing livestock, seedlings and assistance towards self sufficiency. Photo taken by Joanna Robertson. Used with permission

37 And, in time, Uganda will be rightfully called, The Pearl of Africa, again. Photo by Joanna Robertson. Used with permission.

38 What can you do about it? Poverty is a major reason why developing countries have child soldiers. “Poverty can lead to food shortages and extreme poverty and food shortages can lead to families volunteering their children for these child soldiering rebel groups in order to get food and/or money. Many of these children also tend to volunteer themselves in order to benefit from these rebel groups for both themselves and their families. These children are then turned into bread winners for the families, at the ages as early as five these children can be supporting not only themselves but their parents and siblings.” Taken from Consider “investing” in a community in a developing country through any humanitarian organization that promotes long term development and self sufficiency through programs that allow people to be the catalysts for their own change.

39 Children who have managed to escape after being abducted and forced to become soldiers need help. They often require medical attention and psycho-social rehabilitation before they are able to return to their homes. Many who are too old to return to school must learn a new vocational skill. Consider supporting the work of a humanitarian organization that works with the rehabilitation of former child soldiers. Photo courtesy of Department for International Development/Pete Lewis


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