Invisible Children

Courtesy of

Emma Groves, Staff Writer

Courtesy of

The Lord’s Resistance Army is a rebel group and a heterodox Christian cult. It operates in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its leader is Joseph Kony, and with his large contribution, the group has been accused, on several accounts, for violating human rights.

In 1995, Kony rose to power after the Holy Spirit Movement. Kony has been found possibly guilty to the abduction and recruitment of child soldiers. While Kony undoubtedly recruited children, the Ugandan government has also been accused of recruiting and abducting children, so the accusations cannot veritably find Kony solely responsible. In 2006, a United Nations representative found over 5,000 children in the Ugandan army. Then more recently in 2015, Kony’s forces have been found responsible for 100,000 deaths and 66,000 children abducted. While so many convictions lay in wait for Kony, he remains on the run. After following many possible leads, the U.S. has decided to withdraw from the manhunt for Kony’s arrest and imprisonment.

In the mid-1990’s, the LRA strengthened its power with the effort and support from the government of Sudan. With the mass combined army, their atrocities grew to great extents such as killing and abducting villagers repeatedly. As the joined army grew, they formulated one of their most infamous acts.

On October 9, 1996, the LRA attacked St. Mary’s College Aboke, a boarding school in Oyam District, northern Uganda. The female dormitories were broken into, and the rebels kidnapped the girls at night.

“‘We had heard rumors and we had gone out of school to sleep in the villages,’” Eunice Achiro, a school girl at the time, recalled in a DW article by Alex Gitta. “‘But that day, I think the administration decided this time we won’t go to the villages. After all, nothing will happen.’”

Achiro and 138 other girls were followed with their captors by the school’s deputy headmistress, Sister Rachelle Fassera. She eventually convinced their captors to let 109 of the girls go. Some of the girls were later freed by the Ugandan government, some of them died in imprisonment, and some of them are still in captivity now.

Upon their return from captivity, many were rejected by their own families and communities. For example, Joyce Amono, another captive, was not accepted back into her community. She was recused after four years and had a daughter with a rebel commander. She was considered “unclean” by her community. She later found a strong relationship with a man, but after finding out she was one of the kidnapped girls, he bolted and left her pregnant and alone again.

”’I suffered in the bush, I have since returning, but I am a mother now,’” Amono said in an interview with DW reporter Alex Gitta. “‘Despite my sickness and all the pressure, I have two strong feet, I have to be strong and behave well for the sake of my children.’”

Achiro and Amono are the few among many that have suffered due to the lack of action and persistence of government intervention. Kony is still at large and the LRA is still performing unruly, infamous acts.

To help victims and prevent further damage, a group has arisen and formed The Invisible Children. With their contributions, victims have been given chances to stand on their once broken and battered feet. If all humanity took a stand for what’s right and not just stand by, the worldly inevitable could become only the escapable fortuitous.