Lord's Resistance Army
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The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), formed in 1987, is a heterodox Christian cult, rebel guerrilla army, and terrorist group operating mainly in northern Uganda and parts of Sudan. The group is engaged in an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government. It is led by Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself the "spokesperson" of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the Christian Holy Spirit which the Acholi believe can represent itself in many manifestations. The LRA has commited numerous human rights violations, including murder, abduction, mutilation, sexual enslavement of women and children, and forcing children to participate in hostilities.
The organization's performance reflects the cultural fusion of traditional spirit mediums/healers called ajwaki and Pentecostalism. Among the goals of the group is the purification of Ugandan society of witchcraft and sorcery. Christian trance states are preferable to heathen trance states it would seem. Their stated goal is to subjugate Uganda to the Ten Commandments, which they hope to achieve by killing as many people as possible. Well, Moses did it, so why not? Despite the Bible stating "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" and "Thou shalt not worship graven images", Kony practices a mixture of Christianity and Acholi Voodoo mysticism. He is funded by Sudanese Islamic extremists who hope to overthrow the government of Uganda, and as a debt to his pay masters, Kony refuses to eat non-halal meat.
Atrocities attributed to the LRA
- January 1997, Lamwo, northern Uganda: 400 killed.
- May 2002, Eastern Equatoria, Sudan: 450 villagers, some by being forced to walk off a cliff.
- December 2008, Dorumaq area, Democratic Republic of the Congo: 300 killed in the "Christmas massacres".
- December 2009, Makombo, Democratic Republic of the Congo: 312 killed.
In 2012, a perhaps well-meaning film director named Jason Russell produced a documentary about Joseph Kony that aimed to make him famous, "not to celebrate him but to make world government aware of his crimes" and make the US double their efforts to bring Kony to justice in Africa according to Russell, who claimed to be moved to make the documentary by seeing the plight of suicidally depressed children who had lost their parents to the LRA. More cynical viewers felt that Russell was out to make a quick buck or had been put up to it by Western governments who wanted an excuse to invade Africa for (what else?) its oil. In any case, Russell's mission succeeded in raising mass awareness of Kony's horrors and posters saying "Stop Kony" quickly plastered the streets of America and Britain. The video itself was certainly very moving, complete with interviews with sobbing victims of the LRA, conversations between Russell and his cute son (which had a slightly sinister twinge of emotional blackmail) and a soundtrack that seemed to have been done by the guy who did the music in that bit of Gladiator when Maximus is reunited with his family. Like it or not, the video was a fairly brief craze and rumors started to emerge that Kony had long since left Africa or even died. Russell meanwhile was arrested the same year for public indecency after running naked about the streets screaming at the top of his voice. Make of that what you will.
- Invisible Children, the fundamentalist organization attempting to halt a fundamentalist organization.
- Warchild background report
- "Interview with Vincent Otti, LRA second in command" and " A leadership based on claims of divine revelations" in IRIN In Depth, June 2007
- Uganda: ICC Issues Arrest Warrants for Lord's Resistance Army . Accessed on 10 June 2008.
- Tim Allen. 2006. Trial Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Lord's Resistance Army. London: Pluto Press. p. 43.
- Martin Plaut. DR Congo rebel massacre of hundreds is uncovered. BBC News. 2010 March 28.
- Limbaugh's official Transcript.