The US should not interfere with Kony

By on March 13, 2012

The U.S has a tendency to not mind its own business. Other than the release of the new I-Pad 3, much discussion currently centers on Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Running a guerilla militant group supposedly founded on Christian principles, he is determined to create a theocracy and begin a thorough purification of the Acholi people.

This Christian group has abducted over 66,000 children from their homes to fight as soldiers. In the process, young girls have repeatedly become victims of rape and ultimately turned into sex slaves. Forced to kill their own families and innocent civilians, the children leave behind their past lives to join Kony in waging war.

An overnight hit on YouTube, Kony has been sought after by the International Criminal Court since 2005, but no one has captured him yet. In the 1980s, Kony’s criminal actions started, when he sought to overthrow his government. Since then, he has been terrorizing villages in Congo, South Sudan, and the Central Africa Republic.

In 1986, Jolly Okot was abducted by the LRA and forced into sex slavery. Because of her ability to speak English, the militants saw Okot’s value. She now stands as the Ugandan director for Invisible Children, the organization that created the viral video on Kony. Invisible Children seeks to help people and children affected by the LRA by providing them the opportunity to attend high school and college. Invisible Children’s twenty-nine minute video succeeded in capturing the attention of many people worldwide, encouraging them to take action against Kony. Kony’s name has since been on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

In 1987, Anna Alwoch, 65, had her lips cut o in front of her children by the Lord's Resistance Army, the same day the rebels killed her husband and in 2002 they killed her son. She lives with other internally displaced people near Lacor Hospital in Gulu.MCT Campus

A positive note of this situation has been the staggering reaction to an overlooked issue that has been going on for 26 years. The overall reaction demonstrates how effective social media can be on society and how we truly can have a voice if we use our resources.

On the other hand, the U.S should be cautious of getting involved in this issue. We’re not responsible for everything that goes on outside the United States. I don’t condone Kony’s terrible actions, nor do I overlook such strong campaigning by Invisible Children. But the US should not be pressured into getting more involved with Uganda or being the “policeman” of the world.

The United States already assists Uganda and has been serving in the hunt for Kony, which resulted in Kony’s departure from Uganda and the drastic decrease in his forces. As we’ve seen in the past, jumping into other countries dilemmas certainly hasn’t done us any good, and our country is already plagued with many problems of its own. Why ask for another war?

Most people I know have hopped on the bandwagon and want to punish Kony. While it may be safe to think and talk about addressing atrocities abroad, they should also focus on the implications of taking action against Kony. The United States should continue relations with Uganda, but placing our troops on the ground (and spending money we don’t have) to find one man is not worth it.

Amidst the debate on Kony, I’m reminded of the war in Iraq and how pointless it seemed. Taking action against Kony isn’t in the United States’ best interest. However, I am amazed by the powerful response to Invisible Children’s video, which has demonstrated the strength of social media. If individuals can grab the attention of the entire world in one day about one man, what else can we bring to the attention of our government?

NaBeela Washington
Staff Writer
nbeela@uab.edu

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  • Guest

    I agree. Yes, I feel bad for what has been happening, but it is not our job to stop issues of the world. Another war? I highly doubt people of Africa will sit back and watch as we arrest Kony who has been doing what he has been doing for 26 years. The United States has been in constant war as it is trying to help other countries, I’m sorry but we do not need to get involved in another world issue that doesn’t pertain to us.

  • Debbi McCullock

    I respectfully disagree with the idea that we only take care of our own.

    As residents of a nation built on faith and principles, and a world leader in democracy, we are to care for the widow and the orphan. If we do not, we are allowing atrocities to occur while we remain comfortable.
    I don’t want to live in a world where we only care for ourselves. I would rather be extremely uncomfortable with a 26-year war that abducts children and teaches them to kill.
    Maybe you have a deep understanding of the war in Uganda, now in DRC, and have these opinions; but if not, please learn about the region and reconsider the inhumanity of what is happening to these children and families. If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Africa and see the beauty in the people and the culture, it may also change your opinion of our involvement.

    I hope you will reconsider your comments as a Staff Writer at UAB and use your position to promote peace and justice; especially for children in war torn regions. There is so much more to accomplish in the world than making Americans more comfortable.

    I am a UAB Doctoral student, and chose UAB because of the global community perspective and involvement in this region of Africa. I appreciate your opinion; and humbly ask that you reconsider the gravity of your comments and open your mind to a global perspective. This will give you the opportunity to be a world-changer, and open your imagination to the idea that world can be a better place, especially for those with no voice. They need you to be their voice.

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