Kony’s slaughter in Congo

The Washington Post reports:

A Ugandan rebel group known for its horrific cruelties has massacred 189 people and kidnapped at least 20 children over three days in northeastern Congo, U.N. officials reported Monday.
The cultlike Lord’s Resistance Army carried out the attacks on three villages between Thursday and Saturday, according to Ivo Brandau, a spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.
The group killed 40 people in the small town of Faradje on Thursday, and over the next two days, it attacked the villages of Doruma, where rebels massacred 89 people, and neighboring Gurba, where 60 were killed, Brandau said, citing reports that the United Nations received from local authorities.

This report by Stephanie Crummen deserves especial praise for these two paragraphs:

Although the Lord’s Resistance Army is associated with the political grievances of the Acholi people of northern Uganda, the group has mostly terrorized the Acholis over the past 20 years, proving to be more of a psychotic cult than a true rebellion. Its reclusive, messianic leader, Joseph Kony, claims to consult spirits and says he aims to establish a theocracy based on the Ten Commandments.
Over the years, however, his movement has earned a reputation as one of the most brutal groups on the continent, sexually enslaving young girls, abducting children and forcing new recruits to machete friends to death during induction ceremonies. The group has killed or disfigured more than 10,000 people — cutting off victims’ lips was a trademark — and abducted more than 20,000 children, as well as forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes, rights groups say.

Press accounts routinely refer to the LRA as “rebels,” which is sort of like calling Charles Manson a “youth adviser.” The LRA is, and always has been, a terrorist organization. The Post and Crummen deserve praise for pointing this out.

UPDATE: A report in Uganda’s New Vision indicates some of the fleeing LRA have already made it into South Sudan. Doruma is very close to the three-way junction of the borders of Congro, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. It seems obvious that the Dec. 14 joint attack on Kony’s base in the Garamba National Park caused the LRA to split up, fleeing in different directions, some heading north and west toward Doruma, others heading east toward Faradje and the Sudanese border.

UPDATE II: Meryl Yourish invokes a comparison between the slaughter in Congo and the situation in Gaza:

I have yet to hear of a special UN Security Council meeting being convened to discuss the crisis in the Congo, where innocent men, women, and children are being murdered for no apparent reason.

Well, yeah. But I don’t know if this is an appropriate analogy. Compared to Kony and the LRA, Hamas looks like a Boy Scout troop. (I’ve actually met two young survivors of an LRA raid.) If anything, the world’s willingness to ignore the LRA’s horrific savagery bespeaks . . . racism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: