Western pundits and journalists sure are selective in choosing what does or does not count as newsworthy across the continent of Africa. Of course, Uganda is always a sure bet. Just look at all that international press “Kill the Gays” drums up every time it comes back before Parliament.
Ugandan children hiding at night from LRA kidnappers, public domain.
This week, President Barack Obama authorized 100 Special Forces operatives to enter Uganda in an advisory capacity aimed at wiping out Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The militia originated in 1988 in Northern Uganda as a pentecostal Christian-influenced sect aimed at undermining the legitimacy of President Yoweri Museveni. Not long into his tenure as leader of the movement, Kony and his followers gained notoriety as one of the most brutal militias in the world. They have a long history of kidnapping and drugging children for use as child soldiers – and are also known for raping and torturing civilians, often cutting off the lips and noses of prisoners. When driven from northern Uganda between 2005 and 2007, the organization regrouped in the Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and what is now South Sudan.
Notwithstanding Rush Limbaugh’s comically wrong-headed remark this week about Obama “targeting Christians,” it is not at all helpful to understand this as a conflict between Christians and Muslims. Museveni himself is a fundamentalist Christian and member of the international dominionist group, the Family.