Monday, April 20, 2009

The Rescue

The Rescue is a campaign put together by the organization Invisible Children to raise awareness around abducted children forced to be soldiers in the DR Congo and Northern Uganda.

For 23 years, the government of Uganda and a rebel group called the Lords Resistance Army, led by a man named Joseph Kony, have engaged in Africa’s longest war. In recent years, peace was seemingly within reach, largely due to the Juba Peace Talks that began in July 2006. However, despite a ceasefire signed between the LRA and Ugandan government, efforts toward peace through the Juba Peace Talks were stalled on several occasions by Kony’s refusal to sign the final peace agreement.

Kony’s absence at the peace agreement signing on November 29, 2008 proved his promises to be futile and ultimately disabled the peace talks. Furthermore, the ICC has obtained evidence that Kony used the ceasefire during the peace talks to regroup, regain strength and resume child abductions. Joseph Kony is the world’s first individual indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Since September 2008, hostility in the Orientale province in DR Congo and Western Equatoria in South Sudan has reached a feverish pitch. In apparent desperation and a renewed will to spread terror to DR Congo, the LRA murdered over six hundred and abducted more than 160 children to fight amongst its ranks. More than 104,000 Congolese have been displaced since Christmas in attempts to escape the LRA forces. A civil war, originally contained within Uganda’s borders, has now evolved into a widespread regional crisis. Invisible Children, in concert with other policy organizations, now believes an international effort to apprehend Kony and rescue his child soldiers is the most viable way to end the most neglected humanitarian emergency in the world today.

On April 25th, 2009 the international community will unite to deliver the innocent from Kony’s reign and ensure he is brought to justice. Thousands of participants will gather in 100 cities across the world to symbolically abduct themselves to free the abducted.

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