Save Northen Ugandan Children sign now

For the past 20 years the Acholi people of Northern Uganda have been caught in a brutal civil war. Thousands of civilians have been killed and mutilated, children have been abducted, forced to kill, tortured and sexually abused.

The civil divide began during colonial rule when Britain pitted the Ugandan people against each other. Northerners were branded as the fighters; westerners were servants, and southerners the leaders in business and politics.

These divides created a post-independence North-South divide, both regions fighting for prestige and power. In these conditions it was not surprising to see the growth of the rebel insurgency of the LRA- the Lords Resistance Army in 1986

The LRA is made up predominantly of abducted children who are brainwashed by rebel commanders and forced to fight and kill- at least 30,000 children have been abducted by the LRA to date. And worse still, they compel children to kill one another and their own families, fighting as "soldiers" in an armed force deliberately composed of children.

Commanders frequently force children to kill their own siblings, just in case family bonds were ever to supersede those to the LRA. Leaders demand every abducted child to kill another child within a week of capture. Afterward, they're told they'll never be accepted by society because of their criminal acts, so they must stay with the LRA to survive.
The physical and sexual torture of children is a deliberate process intended to create killers without conscience. Tragically, it works. Most current LRA commanders were once abducted boys who, having been through this process, are now committed to Joseph Kony, leader of the LRA, and his bloodthirsty vision.
And this causes a huge dilemma when talking of a military solution: how do you fight an army of children?

In 1996, the Government of Uganda instituted its policy of confining the entire northern population to camps for the displaced to create more effective civilian protection and to prevent the LRA from stealing food, supplies and children from northern villages. However, the fighting and terror has continued throughout these years.

The consequences of the war cannot be overstated. At the end of 2003 the United Nations undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told the BBC: "I cannot find any other part of the world that is having an emergency on the scale of Uganda that is getting so little international attention." On the ground in northern Uganda, the scene is shocking. Tens of thousands of civilians have been maimed or killed by the rebel LRA. More than 25,000 children aged seven to seventeen have been abducted from towns and camps. The government decision to hoard people into "protected villages" has degenerated into a displacement nightmare with 1.7 million displaced and 1000 dying each week. People in the camps are enduring disease, malnutrition, and nighttime attacks from the LRA as they are very easy targets for the rebel group.

An old man living in one such camp told UgandaCan, "Since 1985, we have just had restless nights...In some ways, we are already dead. We yearn for peace, but we have no hope anymore."

I dont know how much of this you already knew- if any. But I stand here today, firstly to inform you, but secondly- to get you to do something, to get you to care.

Gulu Walk is a charity and awareness group founded by Adrian Bradbury and Kieran Hayward. Gulu Walk is focussed on supporting the abandoned children of northern Uganda. On Saturday, October 21, 2006, GuluWalk Day, over 30,000 people, in 82 cities and 15 different countries took to the streets to urge the world to support peace in northern Uganda. The gulu walk itself was 12.5 km and looked to mimic the journey of the night commuters in northern Uganda.

The night commuters are groups of young people who walk, every night, for miles in order to find somewhere safe to sleep for the night. Every morning they must make the same journey back and still carry on working and studying. Every night and every morning making the same trek, just to find somewhere safe to sleep.

And so we walk. We dont walk every night or every morning. Just once, on the 21st of October- international GuluWalk Day- its nothing really but its a start. Im not going to stand here and order you all down to London for a protest march- there are much smaller, more convenient ways that you can show you care.

You can donate money to GuluWalk or a number of different charities which will help children in Northern Uganda in so many ways- education, support and above all: protection.

We respectfully demand that the British government use their influence on international politics to ensure that the UN takes suitable action to prevent the LRA from kidnapping any more children from the civilian population in Northern Uganda. We also demand that current child soldiers are released and provided with medical treatment.

What we want is awareness- no longer can we sit back and watch these atrocities happen- no longer is ignorance YOUR excuse. . .
Do something that matters today- write your name. . .

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Dustin DonovanBy:
Transport and infrastructureIn:
Petition target:
British Government

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