Monday, March 12, 2012

Rosebell Kagumire (Ugandan Blogger) and Her Thoughts On Kony2012

I have so many thoughts about this overnight craze with the Kony2012 campaign created by the organization Invisible Children (I will not even post a link to the Kony2012 video). I think it is time that we Westerners start hearing Ugandans speak for themselves. They really don't need us (contributing more conflict to their conflicts). The world should know more about people like Rosebell Kagumire in this Youtube video than war-criminals like Joseph Kony.


Joyce said...

I am a northern Ugandan, the area worst affected by the Kony/Museveni war but beg to differ from Rosebell’s opinion. I think the majority of northern Ugandans are very grateful to Invisible Children for bringing their plight to a wider audience. With the spotlight on Kony’s CAPTURE, perhaps justice will be done after all, and both Kony’s and President Museveni’s brutal armies will face justice for crimes against humanity and human rights violations committed by both sides during the long conflict.

For those who complain that the war is long over in northern Uganda and therefore stopping Kony is now irrelevant I ask, is it OK for Kony to continue killing and abducting children in Congo, S. Sudan and Central African Republic? Is it OK for northern Ugandans to be plagued with worry that Kony could one day return to restart where he left off? Wouldn’t capturing and putting Kony on trial bring at least half-closure for the victims and help in the healing process, even if other perpetrators (government) still go free?

Those like Rosebell and other Ugandan government apologists criticizing the Kony2012 campaign are just being defensive and would rather see the Kony problem hidden under the carpet. Or perhaps they are too embarrassed by the 20-year unwillingness and/or failure of the Ugandan government to bring an end to northern Ugandans’ suffering under Kony. Tell me, how could Kony’s rag-tag foot army of a few thousand composed mostly forced recruits elude a powerful Ugandan government army of over 50,000 with sophisticated weapons, and years of financial and military aid from the US?

The only logical conclusion one can make is that the whole Ugandan-driven project been a complete FAILURE and demonstrates the UNWILLINGNESS of the Ugandan regime to see an end to Kony. And any clever attempts at whitewashing this fact will not disguise it. The Ugandan government is either uncomfortable at this exposure and wants to hide it under the carpet, or else it is complicit in Kony’s atrocities and does not want him apprehended for fear of the entire truth being exposed. Why else would anyone oppose an attempt to STOP such a war crime fugitive who has committed untold atrocities over a 25-year period? Does that make sense to anyone? One would think it should be in Uganda’s interest to have Kony apprehended!

One of the tools Ugandan government apologists use is the “colonialist”, “neo-colonialist”, “western greed for oil” or “western savior” card to sidetrack viewers from the real issue which is the documented UNWILLINGNESS and FAILURE by the Ugandan government to STOP Kony all these 25 years! Should we continue advocating for the same Ugandan-driven remedies again after it has failed again and again? Reminds me of the famous Einstein quote about insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Over the 26 years of President Museveni’s rule so much distrust (justifiably too) has been built between northern Ugandans and the Museveni regime that it should not be surprising to hear that the only hope for true justice and intervention is from external “saviour figures”. Over the years the Ugandan Amnesty Commission set up to address justice for victims has continued to “forgive and exonerate” ex-combatants of Kony’s army who surrender. The government then gives the most notorious high ranking ones big cash payoffs and government perks, yet totally neglects victims. Efforts on peace talks and other initiatives from within have also been repeatedly frustrated and struck down (1994 peace talks is a glaring example; local elders trying to negotiate release of abducted children were attacked and some killed by government forces etc.). Because of such a pattern of duplicity, utter marginalization, open discrimination and suppression against northern Ugandan efforts from Museveni’s regime, groups like Invisible Children and other NGOs, however flawed, became the only real honest brokers in the situation, offering the lifeline and support in a hopeless situation.

Joshua said...

I apologize that I did not respond to this earlier. I actually just read this after posting another blog on Kony2012 and the Invisible Children organization. I appreciate your views on this. Clearly, Africans (just like any region of the world) have people with different opinions on this issue. I remain very skeptical of the organization still, but I am glad you articulated an alternative perspective.