When Grace Arach was 12 she was kidnapped, raped, tortured, and forced to become the wife of one of Joseph Kony’s commanders. She escaped when she was 17. Since then she’s been working to help other child soldiers. Now she’s 25 and has been living in Australia for almost a year. Her family is still in Uganda.
I was in a vehicle with five others, including a Catholic priest, when we were ambushed by the Lord’s Resistance Army. They stopped the vehicle and got us out. There were five men and me. I was a little girl, 12 years old. It was 1996.
We went to a centre where the soldiers looted food and some drinks, then the priest asked the commander that was leading the group that arrested us, he asked: “What about the little girl?”. He said: “I want to take her back to her mother”.
The answer he got was: “Have you ever seen blood flowing?”, meaning if the priest insisted they would kill me.
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The massive YouTube viewing of Invisible Children’s film “Kony 2012” is nothing short of phenomenal. People are engaged, outraged and quite rightly calling on the International community to do something - in this case, arrest, charge and try Kony in the Hague. People have found their voice against one of the world’s cruelest, most evil men and his regime of hate and terror.
The call for justice is both reasoned and reasonable. I go to Uganda almost every year and see firsthand the impact of Kony’s violence and terror. He should be brought to justice and it should be now.
People quite rightly are asking what Africa is doing about it. Uganda’s inaction against Kony should be seen through the lens of lack of capability not will, though the inaction of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a lack of will not capability. Kony has a following and a degree of Government protection within the DRC and the country’s civil war with estimates of some 6 million killed simply makes Kony another part of the nation’s woes. It is a tragic part of the world where human life is often cheap. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
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