LETTERS: Caz College Honors Program to tackle issue of child soldiers in Uganda

To the editor:

In Uganda, a rebel named Joseph Kony has been waging war with the government, and abducting children to serve as soldiers. Since the 1980s Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has conducted a brutal insurgency against the Ugandan people.

The group’s atrocious tactics include kidnapping children ages 5 to 14, and forcing them to become soldiers or sexual slaves for the army. Kony has been regarded as one of the International Criminal Court’s most wanted war criminals since 2005, yet the ferocity of the LRA’s attacks remains grotesquely consistent.

According to IRIN Africa, which provides humanitarian news and analysis, 14 abductions and six deaths have been attributed to the LRA from last month alone. While the United States has deployed 100 military advisers to assist the Ugandan troops in Africa, this has not been enough.

They only protect certain isolated areas; the LRA bypasses those villages, and instead inflicts atrocities on the least protected areas.

On Feb. 3, President Barack Obama reduced the crisis to a footnote in a speech. That is unacceptable.

It is clear that the search for a true peace accord is far from reaching fruition. The actual motives of the Lord’s Resistance Army appear to have fallen apart a long time ago; all that remains is the army’s hellish punishment of innocent citizens.

Now is the time for justice.

To that end, Cazenovia College’s Honors Program will host a screening of “Invisible Children’s” newest film, Kony 2012, at 6 p.m. Feb. 27, in the Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College. “Invisible Children” is a group that uses media and film to spread the word about the ongoing conflict in Central Africa. The screening of the documentary is a free event, although donations are welcome, and merchandise will be sold.

We urge you to join us, and take the first step in joining the fight for justice. As the film urges, “no longer should we simply study history, but rather take action to change it.”

Brittany Nelson

Chris Wilcock

Naomi Mekeel

Cailey Underhill

Students, Cazenovia College Honors Program

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