Posts Tagged ‘refugee’

Attacks attributed to Ugandan-led rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have killed at least 188 civilians and displaced 68,000 in Southern Sudan since January 2009, with 137 abductions also reported, according to the UN.

“Many innocent people are losing their lives every week, and the United Nations is very concerned about the killing, abduction, maiming and displacement of innocent civilians,” said Ameerah Haq, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Sudan.

In Sudan, Western Equatoria State has been hardest hit by the recent upsurge in attacks blamed on the LRA, which have also taken place in several regions in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Very unfair

“During the last six weeks alone, 11 incidents of LRA attacks have been reported, seven of them in the first week of September,” Mr Haq told reporters on September 11 during a visit to Yambio, the state capital of Western Equatoria.

In Nairobi, Mr Justin Labeja, the head of the LRA’s peace negotiating team, questioned the authorship of the attacks.

“It is very unfair because nobody can come up with clear concrete evidence. Who can say this is the LRA of (leader Joseph) Kony who is doing this?” he said.

What the “real LRA” is any more is hard to pin down. When it emerged in northern Uganda in the late 1980s the LRA was made up almost exclusively of people from the region’s Acholi community, fighting perceived marginalisation.

The LRA now includes nationals from Sudan, the DRC and CAR – many as a result of recruitment-by-abduction. In Southern Sudan “LRA” has been used as a catch-all label for any armed group which attacks civilians.

However, those displaced by the latest attacks reported tactics which bore the hallmarks of the LRA, including grotesque killings and targeting church congregations.

Combating the small groups of guerrillas – experienced in jungle warfare and able to slip across international frontiers with apparent ease – has become a hard task.

Providing food

“There is not much coming from the (Sudanese) state, they are not able to provide the security that they (people) need,” said Mr Haq.

“While the humanitarian community is providing food and other non-food items, the food itself is becoming a magnet for LRA attacks… The answer to that is really how we can provide security around a perimeter.”

Extra troops from the south’s military, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), have been sent to the region, according to spokesman Maj-Gen Kuol Diem Kuol.

“We are working hard and doing all we can to ensure the safety of civilians in the region,” he explained.

The main military force are Ugandan troops, whose soldiers have established camps in Sudan to try and hunt down the now mobile LRA units in Southern Sudan, DRC and CAR.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has just 200 blue helmets based in the sprawling region of Western Equatoria.

Officials said the force has been stretched by a string of recent violent inter-ethnic clashes elsewhere in Southern Sudan.

Its mandate, one official added, needed to be beefed up by the UN Security Council to allow active military engagement against the LRA.

“We need an integrated approach to really provide security to these people, [and] that will require the support of the UN and UNMIS,” said Jemma Nunu Kumba, the governor of Western Equatoria.

“UNMIS needs to get involved just like MONUC (the UN peacekeeping mission) in Congo (DRC), to be able to repulse the rebels when they are attacking the civilians,” he added.

‘’The LRA will remain a problem and we will be unable to go home until pressure is really put on them by all sides’’

Those displaced by the LRA say more effort is needed, not simply to hunt the rebels, but to provide security that would allow people to return to their homes.

“The LRA have killed our people, and they took two of my children,” said Karina Zeferino, who fled after attacks in August on her hometown of Ezo, close to Sudan’s border with CAR.

She trekked the 155km to Yambio town with her remaining young daughter.

After the attacks, peacekeepers airlifted UN staff and aid workers from Ezo by helicopter, shutting down international humanitarian work in that area.

“People are suffering, but we cannot go home because the LRA will attack again,” added Zeferino, holding her child tightly to her side. “There is no help for us there, so that is why we have come to Yambio, but it is hard here too.”

“The LRA will remain a problem and we will be unable to go home until pressure is really put on them by all sides,” said Gaaniko Bate, a leader of the ever-growing Makpandu camp in Southern Sudan, which hosts some 2,530 refugees from DRC.

“These people will not be easily stopped,” he added. (IRIN)

As reported on Nation.co.ke

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(An Article i wrote for Female2Female.co.za)

Not many know, but northern Uganda has been terrorised by war since approx 1986, those most affected by this war are the Acholi women and children.

In 1994 the Museveni Government of Uganda, forced the Acholi people out of their villages and into displacement camps, in what they say were camps designed to protect the Acholi against the Lords Resistance Army rebel attacks, however the camps were largely unprotected, and approx 35,000 children have been abducted since this war started.

In the Camps, Women face on a daily basis, violence, poverty, hunger and complete hopelessness. There is no room to grow crops and farm within the camps so the women and children need to leave the relative safety of the camps and farm elsewhere, leaving them open to be raped, abducted or murdered by the rebels. Starting their day to find the food they need to use for the days meal, a womans day in the camps is basically spent, securing, cooking and providing the days meal.

Children are faced each day with a struggle to survive, at the height of the disaster in approx 2003 2005, thousands of children used to commute from the IDP camps and villages to the main towns to seek safety and refuge from the rebels, their homes were no longer safe for them to be at night. The rebels used to come during the night and kidnap the children, slaughtering families and leaving hundreds fleeing for safety. These children were known as the Night Commuters. Since approx 06/07 most night commuting has now ceased due to the rebels leaving the northern Uganda area.

Over the last few years the rebel group has moved from northern Ugandan area and into Southern Sudan, DR Congo and Central African Republic, abducting more children and women, and leaving hundreds of thousands of people displaced.

Due to being in IDP camps there are no real concrete statistics as to the number of those abducted/missing but estimates are between 35,000 and 66,000 Children have been abducted, missing, or killed due to this war.

Today, relative calm in Northern Uganda has seen around 600,000 IDP 217s return home to their villages in Kitgum/Pader and Gulu Region. The daily struggles are still high for those in these areas. Poverty and Famine are everyday killers of children, education is limited, primary education is free but secondary is not, most of the returning IDPS have no income and cannot simply afford to educate their children so once primary education has finished so has the education for most Northern Ugandan Children.

Undetonated landmines are still highly dangerous in the fields nearby to the war zones and corpses/bones are still being found in fields along with abandoned artillery. HIV/AIDS is prevalent among northern Ugandans as they have no way or means for contraception. Rape is used as weapon of war and fear and many women in the north have been abused in some way.

Hepatitis E had a major outbreak recently in Northern Uganda due to the IDPs returning home to villages left unmanned since 1996/1996 and are forced to drink unsanitary water thus spreading water borne diseases such as Hepatitis E, stomach bugs including Diarrhoea and nodding disease.

In recent months, child sacrifices have been on the increase in Northern Uganda with up to 10 children so far in the last few months having fallen victim to child sacrifice.

The conditions of life for the Women and Children of Northern Uganda at this point in time is one of extreme poverty, famine and suffering.

Invisible Children a Non Profit organisation is working closely with the Acholi in Northern Uganda, creating micro-economic programs to help support the IDPs as well as educating over 750 children and re-building the schools of Northern Uganda. For more information or to see video’s of the IDP Camps visit Invisible Children and discover the unseen.

by: Rebecca Fowler

At Save The Aids Orphans Uganda, The number of kids has lately moved up from 69 to 80 due to the increasing need in the community where local leaders have continued to plead with us to take in the most desperate kids in the community.

While my mind reasons that taking in more is impractical, my heart bleeds upon looking these teary kids in the faces and turning them away. I understand that STAO can’t help all the needy kids in the communities but we felt like taking in just 11 more would be bearable.

The challenge however has been the state of the accommodation premises. We have rooms at present, which would well take care of 80 kids with each room taking in 7 to 8 kids and 1 caregiver. However, because we lack such supplies as beds, mattresses, blankets, bed sheets, mosquito nets and some refurbishment of the rooms i.e. plastering and painting. If we got these in place, our children would have some dignity in the rooms but due to the need, the 80 children are sharing 7 rooms instead of 11 rooms. This gives each room an average of like 11 to 12 kids per room. Imagine the congestion, some of them wet their beds and so every morning gives us work to clean and put their stuff outside to have the sun kill germs. I would pray that the Lord comes through because this state makes it hard for us to control flues skin infections and other contagious conditions.

writing to ask someone to give is one of the hardest things on any relationship or so my pride tells me. However, when more than 80 children look to you for their education and other living necessities, there is not much left to do than to ask whoever will to come alongside in the cause. tomorrow is schools’ opening day, we need over $2000 in tuition, i owe the medical clinic $700, the food supplier $1050, electricity $230, water $80, nutritional supplements $210 etc etc. all this is just in debts not mentioning what is needed to run the work. All the suppliers are looking to what we owe so as to send their own kids to school. This has put us in a desperate situation which makes me frantic hence asking for givers to consider STAO. please consider to help.
Write to us at Aidsorphanseducation@gmail.com
pastor Nelson Lufafa
www.stao-uganda.org
www.stao.no

A Bulletin Received by myself from Save the Aids Orphans thorugh Myspace Australia – http://www.myspace.com/Lufafa

Ive recently started sponsoring a Child Headed Household in Uganda.

Betty is 16 and has a 3 month old baby of her own. Both parents are deceased and she is the caregiver for her 3 brother siblings (17) (12) & (11). To help me financially be able to support these children i have/am creating a range of items such as shirts, bags, hats, postcards and stickers to help me fund this. 100% of the profits are sent to support the children through a registered non profit “Joy For Children Uganda”. The funds are used to pay for food, kerosine (they live in a no electricity area), school fee’s, medical care and clothing. Their mother passed away in 2004 from AIDs and their father many years before their mother, however the children do not recall when their father passed. Since 2004 Betty has been the main provider for her brothers.

Your purchase will help me be able to help these 5 children have a chance at a better life. CLICK HERE to go to our store

Here are some of the styles currently available to help support these children through our zazzle store

tl-end_poverty_tshirt_tshirt tl-give_peace_a_tri_unisex_shirt_tshirt tl-support_end_bag_bag tl-peace_hat

STOP THE PRESS!! WHATS THAT I READ???

A top LRA Commander has been captured by the UPDF!! YAY we are seeing action! Four other LRA junior commanders have been killed and 98 abductees rescued. Its good to see that things are being done, these scum are being pursued and those abducted are being rescued.

This war has been going on FAR TOO LONG and it is now, while action is happening that we must stand strong and UNITE our voices. Spread the word, let the world know that this is happening, that the LRA are STILL currently fighting and abducting, that the Ugandan People’s Defence Force are taking action to end the War.

98 Souls Saved, that is wonderful news to hear, such a great start to the day, after the week i have had of audits at work its a good news day. Lets just hope that the action continues. Through our awareness we are seeing action. STAND STRONG and USE YOUR VOICE.

Check out the News Report – CLICK HERE

Betty & Her Family

ALSO, Ive recently started sponsoring a Child Headed Household in Uganda. Betty is 16 and has a 3 month old baby of her own. Both parents are deceased and she is the caregiver for her 3 brother siblings (17) (12) & (11). To help me financially be able to support these children i have/am creating a range of items such as shirts, bags, hats, postcards and stickers to help me fund this. 100% of the profits are sent to support the children through a registered non profit “Joy For Children Uganda”. The funds are used to pay for food, kerosine (they live in a no electricity area), school fee’s, medical care and clothing. Their mother passed away in 2004 from AIDs and their father many years before their mother, however the children do not recall when. Since 2004 Betty has been the main provider for her brothers.

Your purchase will help me be able to help these 5 children have a chance at a better life. CLICK HERE to go to our store

June 9th. Together with Christina Vandenhengel of Invisible Children i gave a speech to the Local Blacktown City Lions Club at their Dinner Meeting.  We started with a 5 min speech regarding the Northern Ugandan’s and the atrocities they have been facing since approx 1986.  We then showed 2 x 5 min clips and ended with 5 mins of question time.  Selling approx 6 “rescue” Bracelets and a few other items the night was successful in raising even more awareness of the atrocities faced by the Acholi and now the Congolese and Central African Republic and Sudanese Citizens.

Since June 9th i have kept contact with Christina and kept on raising awareness for the Acholi and others facing hard times due to the LRA War. Have sent letters to MP’s and Celebrities and Twittered about it almost every day. I run website FREEUGANDA and have a current fundraiser which your donations are delivered straight to Invisible Children via Change.org a safe and secure fundraising website for Non Profits.

One night in August i checked my sms messages to find one from Christina, a very interesting message, it had me left wondering…what was this proposition she had for me?  Well it was an honor, a true blessing, to be asked to be the Company Secretary for Invisible Children Australia! My hard work had been shown, my dedication to the cause proven and it was an HONOR for me to accept the Volunteer Positon of Company Secretary of IC Aus. I take on this mission with pride, its going to be hard, long, labourous, joyful, sad, fun, exciting and so much more, who wouldnt want to be a part of such a wonderful cause dedicated to helping those less orphaned, abducted or in some way affected by the LRA War, a war that has been hardly reported on by media since 1986.

In September 2009 Invisible Children Australia Board of Directors will be having our first meeting to go over all of our fundraising, events and missions we have started.  We are here to help you with screenings and fundraising and anything you need to raise awareness for Invisible Children.

Schools for Schools has restarted for 2009 with an exciting new book drive mission through Better World Books

In the last few months the LRA have pushed Congolese over the Borders into Central African Republic as well as Sudan, murdering more civilians and abducting more children/women.

9th September: it is reported on New Vision a leading Ugandan Newspaper that a head LRA Commander was captured by the UPDF (Ugandan Peoples Defence Force) in Central African Republic and 98 abducted have been saved, as well as 4 junior LRA Leaders being killed in gunfight.  It is currently suspected that Kony is heading into the Darfur, Sudan region. Darfur is already facing its own Internally Displaced issues due to war with rebels, If Kony/LRA was to join forces with another extremist rebel group in Darfur, the atrocities we are seeing could be amplified.

What can you do to help Invisible Children see the end of this war? Lobby your Sentors (US), hold fundraisers, hold a screening of our documentaries at your school/church/youth group or even workplace! Have a house party and get everyone to donate some funds to Invisible Children. Purchase one of the many DVD’s, Tshirts, Books and more and show off your IC Style.  Write a letter to your Local Member of Parliment (Aus)

Check out Invisible Children’s website today and see how you can help the movement move forward to a brighter future for those affected by the LRA War.

So in the last week i have done some volunteering and letters to people for Invisible Children to try and get the profile out there in Australia.

Ive emailed Kerry-anne, Todayfm, Ten, Nine, Sbs, sent letters to Rove and John Farnham and am trying to get the Invisible Children Documentary screened on SBS television. Am gathering ideas for a fundraiser / event to hold in the near future and am awaiting to hear back to see if the Australian 2010 Invisible Children Tour will be held.

I tweet about Uganda and Africa and what is going on there at http://twitter.com/freeuganda and hopefully help alot of people understand and open their eyes to what is going on in the world.

Visit me www.freeuganda.webs.com for more information

Emailing Invisible Children in Jan of 2009 i was advised that I.C were doing an Aussie Tour this year to hold a big worldwide event called “The Rescue”. Eagerly i awaited more information and in March i was able to get in contact with Katie Bradel and was asked to help out on the media relations team for the IC Sydney Event. After getting connected and catching up with Katie Bradel, she asked me to come work with her and a group of people on a Media Relations team to help organise some media for The Rescue. Eagerly i took on this role and headed into Newtown to meet Katie and the other volunteers who, like myself believe in the mission and movement IC has created. We were pumped, by the end of the meeting i had met some fantastic ladies and we had put together some fantastic ideas. I was ready to do this! Wow IC were finally down under and i was ready to use my voice to help the invisible children of Uganda. I had never felt such pleasure such joy and such heartache at the same time. Being asked to do Radio Media i took on this mission with pride. I wanted to succeed, not for me, for the children of Uganda and of the LRA War. I was again so overwhelmed by the wonderful people i met, such selfless people to give their time and money to those who we have never met, those who are in a complete different country, i was in awe.

So i started emailing and faxing all the media i had been given in the lead up to the event…..10,000 emails later and around 400 faxes later i was pumped. I also started researching Uganda, and came across some interesting facts that made me feel a whole range of emotions from anger to guilt, from empathy to sympathy, from love to hate i was so overwhelmed that one passionate documentary had moved so much inside me. Ive watched documentaries, ive read ugandan newspapers, ive read books, listened to speeches but yet sadly i have never been able to set foot in Uganda. Throughout the month before “The Rescue” i was abuzz with emotions, talking to everyone and anyone i knew about IC. Showing the documentaries, showing the bracelets, sending media clips to PM’s. This war had to have an end, and if they (the governments) would not do it, we would show them they have to do it, we will show them that we care about this situation and we want to see and end to the suffering. How quick a month can go by because suddenly it was the eve of the event…which also happened to be my 29th birthday….whoops i totally forgot it was my birthday, no birthday dinner with family, no cake, i had been so caught up in the Rescue, id totally forgotten myself….oh well..i know what i wanted, all my presents had to be purchased on the invisible children website! I went to bed that night and had never felt so refreshed when i awoke…today was the day we were going to help make history!

9am – 25th April, 2009 i headed out by train to Sydney from Blacktown. With everyone meeting at Milsons Point station – i headed straight for “Fleet Steps” as i was sick and almost hospitalised the week leading up to the event i was told “no walking that far and no outside in the cold” by my doctor…are you kidding??? like i’m missing this for my health!!! Compromise is a bitch…yet it had to be done….no marching….no camping….but i was going to the Event!

Arriving at the fleet steps a few volunteers had already arrived and were starting to set up.

Helping set up with people such as noelle and christina, colin and Katie Bradel and everyone else was like a dream come true….they aint “celebs” as such but in my life they are “hero’s”. The best kind of hero’s ive ever seen. So finally we set up and had some fantastic times trying to get banners to hang from garbage bins etc, and the “abducted” were arriving…..it was beginning. We were all feeling Pumped!
The night overall…was the best night id ever had. I went to the Rescue on my own yet i wasn’t alone. With approx 1000 other IC supporters i felt myself becoming “a hero” as well. To watch the youth of sydney so proudly sing “your the voice” with Damien from underbelly was truly amazing…the dancing, chanting and singing was undeniably great and made the event so much more than just a group of people sharing the same ideals and beliefs….it made us whole. We were Rescued By Damien Walshe-Howling and by Sky News Australia and ABC Radio as well as a few independant journalist who took up the media call. Being Anzac Day in Australia it was very hard to compete to get air time for our event, but ultimately we were rescued and received national air time to raise awareness for the cause so that was a great bonus! The atomosphere was amazing, i just cannot express how in awe i was with everyone.
At around 10.30pm we started heading off to Hyde Park Barracks where we were to be camped out for the night. This is where my night had to end. I arrived, walking up with a group and hung around for a little while, purchasing my bag and rescue bracelets, chatting with new friends and IC enthusiasts and just enjoying the lovely mood that was set at the Sydney Rescue! Time to go home…..11.30pm.

So off i went to St James Station to catch the train back to blacktown….home to sleep

Sunday 26th April: Sunrise gave a brief overview about the chanting coming from outside! Sydneysiders from the Rescue had marched to Sunrise Studio’s and parked themselves out the front of the Live Recording room window – Bring Joseph Kony to Justice was all you could see in the window….GOOD ON YA GUYS!!!! Sky News Australia gave a 7 min interview with Christina and Colin from IC

For the next 3 days i was online watching the live feeds and i had the best time watching….the mission in the US was still going and they needed support….to see Oprah’s live show and the Bobby and IC there was exceptional – Thanks Oprah and Thanks to the dedicated “abducted” who camped out the front of Harpo to get the attention the movement deserves.
Today exactly one month after the event…its not over. The movement is still going hard so so must i…..on June 9th i’ll be giving a speech to the local lions club about IC and what it has done for the people of Northern Uganda in hopes that they can in turn spread the message to other local lions clubs as well.

Invisible children in my life isn’t just a movement, its a way of life for me and my family. We are honored to help, we are honored to say “i support invisible children” and we will be even more honored on the day we can finally say “we helped to end the LRA War in Uganda”


NEXT: Part III

So over the weekend i had my sons 9th Birthday party and my 2 yr old Daughter was quite sick so have been spending my time with my children this weekend. Was nice to have some quality time at the animal park with the kids, to watch them play and ask questions about the animals and birds, they are such awesome lil things. it really makes me wonder how and why children in other parts of the world are looked at like commodities or objects.

I just cannot express how much it deeply confuses me in this day and age why we have so much suffering, so much poverty and so much intolerance. I just dont understand, maybe ive too much compassion, maybe ive too much empathy. I just cannot sit by knowing that each day every 3.6 seconds (approx) a child is dying due to hunger. the number of the worlds hungry has peaked at over 1 BILLION, yep that is correct, 1 BILLION. How on earth in 2009 can we honestly say that 1 Billion people do not have access to food. I Urge you all to check out the World Food Programmes A billion for A billion campaign – Think about this:

For US$ 5 you can nourish a baby for 1 year
For US$50 you can feed a child in school for 1 year
For US$170 you feed a hungry person for 1 year

 

Now that is not alot of money is it? Considering half of those in the Western World cannot live with under $20,000 a year, its a small price to pay for helping those in need.

If your not so comfortable donating, why not look at sponsoring a child. Compassion Australia are a fantastic organisation worldwide that sponsor children. i currently sponsor 2 children through compassion and pen pal another 2 who already have financial benefactors who cannot write. This brings me much personal satisfaction and spiritual satisfaction. to get letters and pictures from the children makes me so happy, i see they are happy in those pictures and letters. i know they are being looked after and their lives actually have meaning. I know they are well feed at the compassion centres, in a time of need they will open the doors to other members of the family if need be. They create vege gardens for the parents and families of the compassion assisted children, they are a wonderful organisation who i have much time for.


Jose – Colombia Winifred – Uganda
My Sponsor Children
Arn’t they such beautiful little souls!!

So today is my son (reece’s) 9th Birthday so we are having a family dinner at my mums tonight, must remember to pack the laptop!!

So today, twittering away @freeuganda, the elections have started in Afghanistan and i really wonder how bad its going to get there. I don’t know much about there as i dedicate most of my research to Africa.

A report on Monitor.co.ug says that the Ugandan Government has blood on their hands. Well i totally agree! Reading into the history of the LRA war and President Museveni’s appointment, it is quite disturbing.

The Ugandan government failed to protect northern Ugandans when they needed it most. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is responsible for orchestrating genocide in Northern Uganda, where he has incarcerated nearly two million people in concentration camps, euphemistically known as “protected villages.” Read a report by the Govt. of Uganda, WHO, UNICEF and others (pdf version).

At the height of the crisis, (circa 2005), more than 1,000 people per week were dying from preventable diseases in these modern day concentration camps. More people have died from conditions in the camps themselves than at the hands of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) or government forces, and over 20,000 children have been abducted.

2. Crimes Against Humanity II

In 2005, Museveni’s government was found guilty by the International Court of Justice for committing grave war crimes in the DRC, including: the invasion and plundering of the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of fomenting ethnic cleansing. Uganda was ordered to pay the DRC $6-$10 billion.

3. Rampant Corruption

Under Museveni, Uganda is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Yet, donor countries including the US, keep donating money to the regime without holding Museveni accountable for corruption.

4. Lawlessness I

President Museveni has no respect for international laws. He came to power using child soldiers and continues to coerce children into joining his armed forces to sustain his regime (See China Keitetsi’s story).

5. Lawlessness II: Locally, President Museveni does not respect the rule of law: he used soldiers to invade the nation’s High Court twice to intimidate judges, has exhibited complete disrespect for human rights, and bribed Ugandan Parliamentarians to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits. The removal of term limits places Museveni as a de facto life president. Museveni has also been involved in land grabbing without the consent of the owners.

6. Militarism

President Museveni is a militarist who has no interest in dialogue to solve political problems. In 1985 he scuttled the Nairobi Peace Agreement mediated by President Moi of Kenya. Numerous attempts at peaceful negotiation between the LRA and the Government of Uganda were disrupted by Museveni’s actions, namely: 1994 and 2004 peace negotiation mediated by Betty Bigombe, the 1988 negotiation mediated by Acholi elders, and a 2003 initiative mediated by the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative. To date, Museveni has not shown much commitment to the current Juba Peace talks mediated by South Sudan–recently spearheading the creation of the Arusha agreement with the DRC, which stipulates the removal of the LRA from the DRC within 90 days.

7. Rampant Human Rights Violations

Recently, Uganda’s ambassador to the UN blocked a report by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Louise Arbour, from being tabled in the UN’s General Assembly. Arbour has been vocal about human rights violations by the UPDF in the past. The report detailed extensive human rights violations by the Ugandan national army in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda. Read the report (pdf version).

In March, demonstrators protesting the sale of a portion of the Mabira rainforest, one of Uganda’s largest forests, were fired upon. Three people were killed in what began as a peaceful demonstration. Sign the Save Mabira petition.

As posted on Xpose Uganda Genocide

So today is my son (reece’s) 9th Birthday so we are having a family dinner at my mums tonight, must remember to pack the laptop!!

So today, twittering away @freeuganda, the elections have started in Afghanistan and i really wonder how bad its going to get there. I don’t know much about there as i dedicate most of my research to Africa.

A report on Monitor.co.ug says that the Ugandan Government has blood on their hands. Well i totally agree! Reading into the history of the LRA war and President Museveni’s appointment, it is quite disturbing.

The Ugandan government failed to protect northern Ugandans when they needed it most. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is responsible for orchestrating genocide in Northern Uganda, where he has incarcerated nearly two million people in concentration camps, euphemistically known as “protected villages.” Read a report by the Govt. of Uganda, WHO, UNICEF and others (pdf version).

At the height of the crisis, (circa 2005), more than 1,000 people per week were dying from preventable diseases in these modern day concentration camps. More people have died from conditions in the camps themselves than at the hands of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) or government forces, and over 20,000 children have been abducted.

2. Crimes Against Humanity II

In 2005, Museveni’s government was found guilty by the International Court of Justice for committing grave war crimes in the DRC, including: the invasion and plundering of the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of fomenting ethnic cleansing. Uganda was ordered to pay the DRC $6-$10 billion.

3. Rampant Corruption

Under Museveni, Uganda is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Yet, donor countries including the US, keep donating money to the regime without holding Museveni accountable for corruption.

4. Lawlessness I

President Museveni has no respect for international laws. He came to power using child soldiers and continues to coerce children into joining his armed forces to sustain his regime (See China Keitetsi’s story).

5. Lawlessness II: Locally, President Museveni does not respect the rule of law: he used soldiers to invade the nation’s High Court twice to intimidate judges, has exhibited complete disrespect for human rights, and bribed Ugandan Parliamentarians to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits. The removal of term limits places Museveni as a de facto life president. Museveni has also been involved in land grabbing without the consent of the owners.

6. Militarism

President Museveni is a militarist who has no interest in dialogue to solve political problems. In 1985 he scuttled the Nairobi Peace Agreement mediated by President Moi of Kenya. Numerous attempts at peaceful negotiation between the LRA and the Government of Uganda were disrupted by Museveni’s actions, namely: 1994 and 2004 peace negotiation mediated by Betty Bigombe, the 1988 negotiation mediated by Acholi elders, and a 2003 initiative mediated by the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative. To date, Museveni has not shown much commitment to the current Juba Peace talks mediated by South Sudan–recently spearheading the creation of the Arusha agreement with the DRC, which stipulates the removal of the LRA from the DRC within 90 days.

7. Rampant Human Rights Violations

Recently, Uganda’s ambassador to the UN blocked a report by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Louise Arbour, from being tabled in the UN’s General Assembly. Arbour has been vocal about human rights violations by the UPDF in the past. The report detailed extensive human rights violations by the Ugandan national army in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda. Read the report (pdf version).

In March, demonstrators protesting the sale of a portion of the Mabira rainforest, one of Uganda’s largest forests, were fired upon. Three people were killed in what began as a peaceful demonstration. Sign the Save Mabira petition.

As posted on Xpose Uganda Genocide

To see what the Acholi have faced and continue to face is a very disheartening experience. To me i just cannot understand why people are so intolerant of Africa, why people keep on saying “well there has always been civil wars in Africa” but yet have they taken the time to research why there have always been wars in Africa? i highly doubt it.

Education is the key to life, just as the Northern ugandan children beleive that it may be the key to theirs. They are the next generation of leaders for Northern Uganda, they are mothers, daughters, sons and fathers, what would you do if this was your family, your community suffering? would you sit by and watch and do nothing?

This is my first journal post as ive posted a full historical lead up to this first post going through how i started and why i continue to, on a daily basis, campaign for the rights of those in Northern uganda, why i continue to educate people and update people with what is going on in the world. If the media won’t report it, then someone must, i if that is me, then so be it.

i am a voice for the voiceless, i am one of many, many hundreds of thousands of activist around the world, just like me, working for the ultimate goal, Peace for the Children. be it of Uganda or Sudan or Afghanistan or Iran, Children all over the world are suffering, are you compassionate enough to be a voice for the voiceless?

I received an email tonight from a great activist friend, and his kind words lifted my spirits up high, after watching such a depressing and sad documentary i was uplifted again, to know that my words do make a difference. I have never met this friend, but to know that i have made a difference even to just one person, i know i am doing what i am meant to be doing, my life has lead me on this journey, ending up somewhere i never ever expected to be, but here i am, an activist, a voice for the voiceless, and I WILL see change in MY lifetime. I may be one person, but i can move the world…..i dare you to move it too!

Rebecca-Anne
Twitter: @FreeUganda for what is going on in Uganda and the LRA war terrorizing Africa.

After getting my kids off to bed tonight i sat down and finally go to watch the last few parts of Uganda Rising. I honestly find it really annoying that the ICC cannot prosecute further back that 2004. To read and watch into the history of the LRA war it is exhausting. Its a very politically motivated war that has turned into a war of nothing, just a war of killing.

To see what the Acholi have faced and continue to face is a very disheartening experience. To me i just cannot understand why people are so intolerant of Africa, why people keep on saying “well there has always been civil wars in Africa” but yet have they taken the time to research why there have always been wars in Africa? i highly doubt it.

Education is the key to life, just as the Northern ugandan children beleive that it may be the key to theirs. They are the next generation of leaders for Northern Uganda, they are mothers, daughters, sons and fathers, what would you do if this was your family, your community suffering? would you sit by and watch and do nothing?

This is my first journal post as ive posted a full historical lead up to this first post going through how i started and why i continue to, on a daily basis, campaign for the rights of those in Northern uganda, why i continue to educate people and update people with what is going on in the world. If the media won’t report it, then someone must, i if that is me, then so be it.

i am a voice for the voiceless, i am one of many, many hundreds of thousands of activist around the world, just like me, working for the ultimate goal, Peace for the Children. be it of Uganda or Sudan or Afghanistan or Iran, Children all over the world are suffering, are you compassionate enough to be a voice for the voiceless?

I received an email tonight from a great activist friend, and his kind words lifted my spirits up high, after watching such a depressing and sad documentary i was uplifted again, to know that my words do make a difference. I have never met this friend, but to know that i have made a difference even to just one person, i know i am doing what i am meant to be doing, my life has lead me on this journey, ending up somewhere i never ever expected to be, but here i am, an activist, a voice for the voiceless, and I WILL see change in MY lifetime. I may be one person, but i can move the world…..i dare you to move it too!

Rebecca-Anne
Twitter: @FreeUganda for what is going on in Uganda and the LRA war terrorizing Africa.
Main Header Picture by: Invisible Children

So a few weeks back i was talking to my aunt who had been a long time volunteer in a local organisation and she suggested that i should keep a journal of my experiences. Of how i felt by doing what i am doing, my emotions and above all the strength and drive that keeps me going.  So i decided to start and here is the first part.

June 2007 i started working at a new job. Within a few weeks of my starting there, my boss gave me a DVD called Invisible Children Rough Cut.  Not sure what i was watching, that night i eagerly popped the DVD on and what started as a light and airy documentary had me in tears and anguish by the end.  Rough Cut is one of the most powerful documentaries i have had the pleasure of watching. I like to call these Shockumentaries, as they really shock your body, mind and soul. One boy in particular was what drew me in, Jacob, The ex child soldier, you see i have a jacob, he is only 3 yrs old and if my jacob was stolen, how would i feel. Oh i cried, my heart ached for this Jacob, as a mother i wanted to scoop this child into my arms and give him the biggest hug i could ever give. it really broke my heart. there is no way i could picture this child as a soldier, the innocence and beauty in his face. how could this keep on happening?  I was 27, i had not heard of this LRA war that started in 1986 when i was just a meagre 6 yr old child. Why? Why did i not know? Why was our media not reporting on this? Why were millions of people in displacement camps and thousands of children being abducted and no one was reporting this on the news? WHY? all i could keep on saying is WHY?

During this time, i started to suffer with my own nightmare, a multi nodular goitre that had taken over my thyroid and was slowly choking me to death. During 07 and 08 i went through one of the most darkest periods of my life. To know your dying, you can feel it, you can feel you cant breathe, this goitre was literally choking me, to get the perspective, i could not swallow a whole panadol tablet as it was too big to go down my osophegous, that is how small and restricted it was. My voice was suffering as well, being crushed by the goitre, i was advised by my specialist that i would never sing high notes again and it could take a while for the voice box to repair, some days it was so difficult to talk as my voice was so harsh and scratchy i really felt like i would never get my voice back. Thankfully in November of 2008 i had surgery to remove my thyroid and the nasty goitre and since then have been classified a “hypothyroidism”. On medication for life and a few issues afterwards, but i was blessed to be alive, i could breathe again! It was then i knew that i had to dedicate my voice to those who were not heard, singing is out of the question after suffering something like that, but being an activist isnt, having passion and speaking with passion about something isnt. I spent the next 2 months recovering and enjoyed the Christmas with my family. How sad i felt when on Christmas day 2008 the LRA attacked at town in DR Congo and massacred approx 620 villagers and kidnapped approx 130+ children.  How? on Christmas day? i was left in tears, broken and lost at how one man could initiate the massacre on Christmas Day, a day we celebrate God and Family, this man took that away, this Joseph Kony. It was not over, but i wanted so badly to be a part of whatever it took to make it over. This was one mission i would not give up on, i look at my children and it pains me that another mother somewhere cannot look at her children, it pains me that another lily or jacob (my other son is reece which i highly doubt is a big name in africa) somewhere in the world do not have the luxuries that my children have, the luxury of good food and clothing, an education and above all a childhood. To support IC i have purchased their DVD’s, Bracelets, Tshirts, Scarves and more. I have donated my time and money to this cause as i believe in what they do, i have seen through their documentaries the difference they have made in the lives of those in Northern Uganda.

Emailing Invisible Children in Jan of 2009 i was advised that I.C were doing an Aussie Tour this year to hold a big worldwide event called “The Rescue”. Eagerly i awaited more information and in March i was able to get in contact with Katie Bradel and was asked to help out on the media relations team for the IC Sydney Event.  After getting connected and catching up with Katie Bradel, she asked me to come work with her and a group of people on a Media Relations team to help organise some media for The Rescue.  Eagerly i took on this role and headed into Newtown to meet Katie and the other volunteers who, like myself believe in the mission and movement IC has created.  We were pumped, by the end of the meeting i had met some fantastic ladies and we had put together some fantastic ideas.  I was ready to do this! Wow IC were finally down under and i was ready to use my voice to help the invisible children of Uganda.  I had never felt such pleasure such joy and such heartache at the same time. Being asked to do Radio Media i took on this mission with pride. I wanted to succeed, not for me, for the children of Uganda and of the LRA War. I was again so overwhelmed by the wonderful people i met, such selfless people to give their time and money to those who we have never met, those who are in a complete different country, i was in awe.

So i started emailing and faxing all the media i had been given in the lead up to the event…..10,000 emails later and around 400 faxes later i was pumped. I also  started researching Uganda, and came across some interesting facts that made me feel a whole range of emotions from anger to guilt, from empathy to sympathy, from love to hate i was so overwhelmed that one passionate documentary had moved so much inside me. Ive watched documentaries, ive read ugandan newspapers, ive read books, listened to speeches but yet sadly i have never been able to set foot in Uganda. Throughout the month before “The Rescue” i was abuzz with emotions, talking to everyone and anyone i knew about IC. Showing the documentaries, showing the bracelets, sending media clips to PM’s. This war had to have an end, and if they (the governments) would not do it, we would show them they have to do it, we will show them that we care about this situation and we want to see and end to the suffering.  How quick a month can go by because suddenly it was the eve of the event…which also happened to be my 29th birthday….whoops i totally forgot it was my birthday, no birthday dinner with family, no cake, i had been so caught up in the Rescue, id totally forgotten myself….oh well..i know what i wanted, all my presents had to be purchased on the invisible children website!  I went to bed that night and had never felt so refreshed when i awoke…today was the day we were going to help make history!

9am – 25th April, 2009 i headed out by train to Sydney from Blacktown.  With everyone meeting at Milsons Point station – i headed straight for “Fleet Steps” as i was sick and almost hospitalised the week leading up to the event i was told “no walking that far and no outside in the cold” by my doctor…are you kidding??? like i’m missing this for my health!!!   Compromise is a bitch…yet it had to be done….no marching….no camping….but i was going to the Event!

Arriving at the fleet steps a few volunteers had already arrived and were starting to set up.
Helping set up with people such as noelle and christina, colin and Katie Bradel and everyone else was like a dream come true….they aint “celebs” as such but in my life they are “hero’s”.  The best kind of hero’s ive ever seen.  So finally we set up and had some fantastic times trying to get banners to hang from garbage bins etc, and the “abducted” were arriving…..it was beginning. We were all feeling Pumped!

Sydney Event
Sydney Event

The night overall…was the best night id ever had.  I went to the Rescue on my own yet i wasn’t alone. With approx 1000 other IC supporters i felt myself becoming “a hero” as well.  To watch the youth of sydney so proudly sing “your the voice” with Damien from underbelly was truly amazing…the dancing, chanting and singing was undeniably great and made the event so much more than just a group of people sharing the same ideals and beliefs….it made us whole. We were Rescued By Damien Walshe-Howling and by Sky News Australia and ABC Radio as well as a few independant journalist who took up the media call. Being Anzac Day in Australia it was very hard to compete to get air time for our event, but ultimately we were rescued and received national air time to raise awareness for the cause so that was a great bonus!  The atomosphere was amazing, i just cannot express how in awe i was with everyone.

At around 10.30pm we started heading off to Hyde Park Barracks where we were to be camped out for the night.  This is where my night had to end.  I arrived, walking up with a group and hung around for a little while, purchasing my bag and rescue bracelets, chatting with new friends and IC enthusiasts and just enjoying the lovely mood that was set at the Sydney Rescue!  Time to go home…..11.30pm.

So off i went to St James Station to catch the train back to blacktown….home to sleep

Sunday 26th April: Sunrise gave a brief overview about the chanting coming from outside! Sydneysiders from the Rescue had marched to Sunrise Studio’s and parked themselves out the front of the Live Recording room window – Bring Joseph Kony to Justice was all you could see in the window….GOOD ON YA GUYS!!!!
Sky News Australia gave a 7 min interview with Christina and Colin from IC

Sydney
Sydney

For the next 3 days i was online watching the live feeds and i had the best time watching….the mission in the US was still going and they needed support….to see Oprah’s live show and the Bobby and IC there was exceptional – Thanks Oprah and Thanks to the dedicated “abducted” who camped out the front of Harpo to get the attention the movement deserves.

Today exactly one month after the event…its not over.  The movement is still going hard so so must i…..on June 9th i’ll be giving a speech to the local lions club about IC and what it has done for the people of Northern Uganda in hopes that they can in turn spread the message to other local lions clubs as well.

Invisible children in my life isn’t just a movement, its a way of life for me and my family.  We are honored to help, we are honored to say “i support invisible children” and we will be even more honored on the day we can finally say “we helped to end the LRA War in Uganda”

Invisible Children – Thank You for changing my life.

So this is the end of this journal entry, i will be updating my journal in new posts to get up to where we are now in August of 2009.

Thanks for reading My Invisible Children Journal.

Hi Everyone. I am seeking sponsors to help me do a Volunteer Trip to Uganda.
During my time in Uganda i will be visiting Displacement Camps in Northern Uganda as well as spending some volunteer time in the Invisible Children office in Gulu. Northern Uganda has been rocked by a raging war over the last 23 years by the Lords Resistance Army and peace is only now starting to return to Northern Uganda. These people have been in displacement camps since approx 1996 and require help, councelling, food and much more to re-start their lives in their old villages.  the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) is still currently committing atrocities in DR Congo, Southern Sudan and the Central African Republic. Latest Information at:  (“Invisible war victims” in the north require urgent attention – officials)

I am hoping to travel in 2010/2011
I am currently a volunteer for Invisible Children Australia and sponsor a child in Uganda as well. I am aiming to spend 6 weeks in Uganda doing volunteer work and expanding my knowledge on the area and affected persons so that i can continue to commit myself to the Invisible children cause as Company Secretary for IC AUS – All Australian positions are volunteer only and we are not employed by Invisible Children or receive any monetary goods or cash for our actions.
As a mother of 3 children myself i am currently unable to cover all the costs associated with getting the tickets and travel arrangements covered. I have been a volunteer my whole life with my parents through Lions Club International but have found my own calling in invisible children.
I will be documenting my journey through Uganda through video and pictures. I have created the website http://www.freeuganda.webs.com and currently run this as well as the twitter page @freeuganda and a blog https://invisiblechildrensupporter.wordpress.com
CLICK HERE to donate or to check out my donations page with Pledgie.com

Each sponsorship amount is greatly appreciated and i urge you all to join up to www.freeuganda.webs.com to check out what is going on in Uganda and the status of your sponsorship.

IMG_8817-copy ic2 IMG_0006_1

Pictures supplied by: Invisible Children and Photobucket

Video by: Invisible Children

The Collective | Stories About Movement | Nau.com

VOTE for Christina Vandenhengel and Katie Bradel from Invisible Children for the NAU Grant for Change. Check it out today

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With so much going on in Africa right now, we are trying to keep the news on our website updated each and every night.  Some times this of course cannot happen however i try to maintain it at least 2-3 times a week if not everyday.

Check it out

http://www.freeuganda.webs.com and click on NEWS for all the current information

Follow us on Blip FM http://blip.fm/freeuganda be your own DJ.

Follow us on Twitter @freeuganda to receive updates by tweet

We hear their cries,
their words and dreams,
Yet nothing changes,
Or so it seems.

The children are hurting
The mothers, they cry
There is no one nearby that can help
And they want to know why.

why are their cries silent
to the ears of the west
why do their dreams fade
when we can offer them the best.

the best hope for these children
it comes from you and me
so open up your wallets
and take the time to see.

the dreams of the silent children
who are suffering so bad
lets give them some comfort
and some things they never had.

like love, care and support
from a stranger they’ll never know
you may not believe it
but it can really help them grow.

to know someone they never met
cares and supports their choices
gives them something to inspire to
and makes them use their voices.

for far too long
they have sat silent
living with war, displacement and fear of abduction
in an area that is just so violent.

for the children of Uganda
life has been so unfair
so we all need to take a stand
and make sure that change comes there.

lets show them that we’re here for them
lets show them that we care
lets show them that the world is listening
and lets help end their despair.

I urge you to open your eyes
And see them through your heart
Donate some of your hard earned cash
And give these kids a head start.


COPYRIGHT 2009 R.A.Fowler

A poem i wrote dedicated to the Silent Children, for all of those who have been and still are silent, we hear you.

Sydney Rescue Event

Sydney Rescue Event

I saw the website say that as at 2009 there are over 1 billion people in the world hungry, and thought to myself, we really are in a world where ignorance overrules right. The World Food Program have issued this News Release.

This year, mainly due to the shocks of the economic crisis combined with often high national food prices, the number of hungry people is expected to grow overall by about 11 percent, FAO projects, drawing on analysis by the US Department of Agriculture.

Almost all of the world’s undernourished live in developing countries. In Asia and the Pacific, an estimated 642 million people are suffering from chronic hunger; in Sub-Saharan Africa 265 million; in Latin America and the Caribbean 53 million; in the Near East and North Africa 42 million; and in the developed countries 15 million in total. Why is the media not reporting on this? How in 2009 can our world be in a worse position than the 1980’s? With the advancement in technology you would tend to think that life would change for at least the better. Well assuming gets us no-where.  I find it so hard to comprehend the amount of violence and poverty gripping our earth at this point its to me beyond comprehension.  Slavery in the world is bigger now than ever before, a 32 billion dollar industry going on right under most of our noses! Asia Pacific, USA, Canada, India, Middle East and even my own home of Australia have been caught up in the slavery trade.

For years i had no idea that these things were going on in the world, i was a materialistic person that cared for myself and family and local community but never really paid attention to what was going on in the world. At that point Invisible Children and a tumor came into my life and changed me ever so much. I watched, i learned and i listened, and when i did all that i thought to myself, the age old question. Well what can i do about it, im just one person, im not rich, i cant just fly off to africa or asia and do something about it, but i just cant sit here knowing what i know and NOT do anything about it. So i started ringing people i knew and talking to them, showing friends and family the invisible children dvd’s and started on a mission that has bought me joy, sadness, love, appreciation, new friends, wonderful memories, tears and so much more than i just cannot put into words. On my journey through raising awareness for invisible children and the children of uganda, its made my interests in the world flourish, i never ever thought i would be an activisit, but i am one and PROUD to be. I know what i want to see change in this world and im on a mission to help be that change.

I cannot stress enough how important it is we all help, as a global society these days thanks mainly to the internet, we have an obligation to be the voice of those who are not heard. So many people in this world are suffering right now and they need our help. Im on a general award wage have 3 kids to support, rent, bills and all that, yet i still manage to sponsor 2 children thats an extra $100 a month expense and donate at least $40 per month to different organisations. I make sacrifices in order to do these things and even thou i physically get nothing out of it, spiritually, mentally and emotionally i get more back than you could imagine.

I currently have a petition started going to President Obama, US State Senates and Congress, AU Prime Minister Rudd and Minister Smith (AU Foreign Affairs Minister) asking them to support the “LRA Disarment and Northern Uganda Recovery Act 2009”  If passed through US Sentate this would be a historical win for the people of Northern Uganda who have been displaced for over a decade now in IDP camps.  2009 saw the start of the IDP’s returning home due to the LRA moving out of Northern Uganda and into DR Congo. The congolese civilians are now facing what the Northern Ugandans have faced for the last 2 decades.  It is time we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and end the violence and bring Joseph Kony to justice. Please sign our petition, be the voice of the invisible children and show you care.  top left hand side “TAKE ACTION” button. Click to sign our petition.

Thanks for reading todays rant! im not quite finished so will update again shortly.

Picture_0077

So i have so many people ask me how i do so much that i do, with working and kids, im pretty lucky to be able to absorb information at a good rate and to use my “technological Skills” to raise awareness from yep you guessed it my chair.

I find alot of people dont donate to organisations because there are just sooo many out there that they dont know where to start so i’ve thought id help yous all out and give you some information on great websites where you can support non profits and get to meet some fantastic people who support similar causes and who can open your eyes to other issues our world is currently facing.

So to start a few great websites:

Change – www.change.org is a great place to start. here you can become a member, and support a whole heap of non profits and causes, interact with members, sign petitions and take pledges to help others.

Social Vibe – http://www.socialvibe.com – Get a sponsor – get a cause and your ready to raise awareness!  Major businesses such as “colgate” sponsor individuals, and for what you do on their websites, rate movies, watch clips, read things, play games etc your sponsor donates to your cause – add to facebook eg: Colgate Kisses and for each spin of the wheel colgate will donate to invisible children. CHECK OUT Colgate Kisses Here

Care2 – www.care2.org through this website you can support a whole range of causes and organisations. very similar to change yet a little more indepth, more for those with a little extra time on their hands.

Kiva – www.kiva.org – A great way to support an individual in need. Through a Non Profit on the ground, individuals are reffered to kiva to request a loan. members donate funds to these individuals to support their loan. the loans are repaid over a period of time as specified on their webpage. Please read the terms as funds are not garunteed by kiva.

Free Uganda – www.freeuganda.webs.com – my website that i update every few days with news from uganda and africa as well as video’s and clips and much more.

For more information or if you have any questions, please direct them through the FREE UGANDA website

Current News from Uganda as reported by New Vision News in Uganda.

Gulu – MAO confirms new rebel group – read the full report here

Gulu – MP Asks for Food Aid – Read the full report here

300 NAADS Chicks set ablaze in Thatched hut – read full report here

JIE Warriors kill 8 in Kaabong – Read full report here

10 Districts to miss recovery funds – read the full report here

OTHER NEWS and INFORMATION

Help support Discover The Journey’s Trip to Africa – Get the full details here

Ok so for all those IC Supporters out there, you know HOW IT ENDS was on last week 22nd and 23rd June 2009 in DC.   With guest speakers such as: The head of the International Criminal Court – Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Betty Bigombe, Jolly Okot, Government Representative’s from Uganda and many more people coming together to discuss ending the longest running war in Africa.  I was able to watch the live feeds online and the premier of the Rescue Documentary (from the events held worldwide) as well as hear the speech from Luis Moreno-Ocampo and much more that was going on Live at the Lobby Days.

Invisible Children pulled together a massive event at DC and deserve to be commended for what they have done over the last 6 years that has led them up to this point.  “HOW IT ENDS” is a culmination of all the work that IC have done. Integrating relationships with Resolve Uganda, Enough Project and IC, they created a force strong enough to grab the attention of senators throughout america.   U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) and U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Brad Miller (D-NC) and Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced legislation to help end the reign of terror conducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda and neighboring countries.  This bill calls

“…to apprehend or otherwise remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield, and to disarm and demobilize Lord’s Resistance Army fighters.”

The bill not only sets a plan for ending the war but outlines the need for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war affected regions. It is our goal at Lobby Days to see that we put our support behind this bill.

Here is a quote from Senator Feingold as he introduced the bill to the president:

“Mr. President, today I am pleased to introduce the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, and I am pleased to do so with a great champion on this issue: Senator Sam Brownback.  For many years, we have both sought to bring attention to the terror orchestrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army, the LRA, and the suffering of the people of northern Uganda.  We have come a long way in just a few years, thanks especially to young Americans who have become increasingly aware of and outspoken about this horrific situation. Those efforts have yielded some success, but if we are now to finally see this conflict to its end, we need to commit to a proactive strategy to help end the threat posed by the LRA and support reconstruction, justice, and reconciliation in northern Uganda.  This bill seeks to do just that.” ~ Russ Feingold

To help support this cause, why not sign out petition to Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.  We are asking for him to support any and all acts passed by US Governments in relation to Uganda and The LRA Disarment.  CLICK HERE to be a part of historical change for the Ugandan’s

This is the HOW IT ENDS GOALS CHART

lobby-process-graphic1

We need YOUR SUPPORT to get this bill passed through congress! So come on and support the END OF THE LONGEST RUNNING WAR IN AFRICA.

why not spread the word with these cool items. 100% of profits are donated to specific Non Profit Organisations such as Invisible Children, Call and Response and Coalition to Stop the use of Child Soliders.

CLICK HERE to visit our website and join our mailing list.

Graphic Footage from Phone Camera’s of the protests going on in iran due to what people are calling a “Rigged Election” i dont know enough about the history of this country and the election so i wont give my personal opinion on the matter just will share the information.

WHAT IS GOING ON IN IRAN? LOTS OF QUESTIONS FUELLING THIS ON TWITTER, IVE BEEN FOLLOWING AND THIS IS A GOOD MEDIA CLIP SO YOU CAN CATCH UP ON WHATS GOING ON.

POLICE VIOLENCE IN IRAN – GRAPHIC IMAGE NOT TO BE WATCHED NEAR CHILDREN PLEASE

News in Australia this morning reporting that the AU government asked the Social Site Twitter to not shut down the site for scheduled maintenance as the only information coming out of Iran is through twitter. For anyone that tweets Twit #IranElection for information and footage from Iranians.  Do NOT @username anyone who is from Iran as their government officials are trying to have the site shut down and these people could become targets for military action.

Obama refuses to “meddle” in Iran Election Read the information here

BBC World Reports

Innocent Googling? Not in Tehran – SEE THE FULL REPORT

More information will be posted as its coming through, however i suggest TWITTER for everyone.

More Video footage – please be aware these are graphic clips and we advise you NOT TO WATCH NEAR CHILDREN

1 Hr Ago (AM AUS TIME)

Time to go: ABC thrown out of Iran

Middle East correspondent Ben Knight is leaving Iran after journalists were ordered out of the country and told not to report on unauthorised gatherings. Here he describes how it is getting harder to get information out of Iran about the protests.

“Today we were told by the Islamic Guidance Ministry and its agency that looks after the press that our press cards have been revoked. They still have, I think, about 12 days to run. But all foreign journalists have had their credentials cancelled. READ THE FULL REPORT

SYDNEY PROTEST – CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION

MORE VIDEO IMAGES

YET MORE VIDEO

PICTURES FROM INSIDE IRAN

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fhashemi/sets/72157619758530748/

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN- DISGUSTING USE OF VIOLENCE BY IRANIAN POLICY/MILITARY

MORE VIDEO FOOTAGE – graphic image warning

Graphic Video Footage

OBAMA’s Speech

Somalia – DADAAB, Kenya – “Is it too late?” a medic asked while pressing little Anfac’s bony chest. Fluid dribbled from the toddler’s mouth as the team worked frantically to save her. Tension filled the small room at Medecins Sans Frontieres'(MSF) only clinic in Kenya’s Dadaab camp – the world’s biggest refugee camp. Locals dub it the “Death Camp” for more information visit our news page

Northern Uganda:  GULU, 12 June 2009 (IRIN) – The Ugandan army says it has detained 11 people over alleged rebel activity in the north of the country. Uganda army and defence spokesman Maj Felix Kulayigye said the 11 were coordinators of a new rebel group. He said five had been arrested in Gulu and Pader districts of the Acholi sub-region, which was the epicentre of the conflict pitting government forces against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from the late 1980s well into this century, and that weapons and communications equipment had been unearthed in Pader. Ulayigye said six others were detained in Rhino camp in Masindi District, western Uganda, with guns and solar panels. The Gulu resident district commissioner, retired Col Walter Ochora,said those detained include former senior LRA fighters who had surrendered in 2007 and joined the regular army or who had been granted amnesty. Treason charge According to Kulayigye, the six held in Masindi would be charged with treason. “We have taken the files of those we arrested in Gulu and Pader to the director of public prosecution for advice. They are also preferably going to be charged with treason,” he said. Asked what the name of this new rebel group is, Kulayigye said: “They are still in initial stages. They are still proposing the name of their rebel group,” he said. “We are aware of some politicians in Gulu and those in the diaspora who are behind these new rebel activities in northern Uganda. They feel discredited by the LRA,” Kulayigye said.For more information visit our

GULU, 15 June 2009 (IRIN)- Lilly Atong, 26, was first abducted by Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)rebels from Amuru district in northern Uganda in 1991 when she was 10 years old. She was made a “wife” of the LRA leader Joseph Kony but escaped in 2005. However, during the Juba peace talks in 2006 she met Kony to persuade him to release other women and children, only to beheld captive again in Garamba National Park, where the rebels werehiding. She managed to escape a second time and is now living in a rehabilitation centre in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu. Visit our News Page for more information

Worldwide: June 20 is World Refugee Day – Visit The UN Refugee Website for more information about local and international events