Perspectives from communities currently affected by LRA violence
People from all across the United States – and indeed, around the world – have weighed in with their views on the Kony 2012 phenomenon and the historic attention Joseph Kony has received over the last 10 days. However, despite the more than 90 million views of the Kony 2012 film online, the dozens of articles and interviews by mainstream news outlets, and the hundreds of blogs that have been written on the subject, there remains a critically important aspect of this story that has been left untold by the mainstream: perspectives from those who currently living in the midst of LRA violence.
Voices from communities in regions of DR Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic where the LRA continues to kill, abduct, and displace thousands of innocent civilians are notably absent from the public conversation. While frustrating, this is no surprise. As Resolve has noted on many occasions, Kony chooses to prey on communities in the most remote and marginalized areas of central Africa, where news of LRA atrocities rarely reach the outside world. These areas lack basic communication infrastructure and technology.
For the past six years, many religious and civil society leaders in these communities have been calling for assistance from their own governments and from the international community to help protect civilians targeted by the LRA and apprehend Joseph Kony and his top commanders. Their input formed the basis of the policy recommendations for the KONY 2012 campaign. It would be tragic if – in a moment of such incredible attention to their plight – views from affected communities continue to go unheard.
Our team is working now to gather comments from religious and human rights leaders in these communities, but in the meantime, below is a compilation of a few of the testimonies from these leaders over the past few years.
“Let Us Be Free: A plea for relief from the violence of the LRA” produced by Discovery the Journey
- Letter from Father Abbé Benoit Kinalegu of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Dungu, DRC, in response to the Kony 2012 film and campaign
- Perspectives from religious and civil society leaders in South Sudan on the LRA and the Kony 2012 campaign, gather by Resolve’s Director of Advocacy
As you saw in the first video, a woman from an LRA-affected area of South Sudan emphasizes, “We want people who will talk on our behalf,” — people who will share these stories with the rest of the world. You can help spread her story, and those of many others, by doing two things right now:
1. Tweet this blog and post it on Facebook so that the voices of currently affected communities are included in the public conversation about Joseph Kony and the LRA. Here’s a sample message:
Amplify the voices of people currently experiencing #LRA violence in central Africa http://bit.ly/wbaBRy @weareresolved #KONY2012
2. Sign up to lead a Kony 2012 local lobby meeting and share these stories with your members of Congress in person.
We’ve made Kony famous. Now let’s do what we can to help bring his atrocities to an end.