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Search for a rebel leader in Uganda

By unknown | Feb 10, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A journalist's search for an interview with one of the world's most wanted men turns him into a hunter.

A journalist's search for an interview with one of the world's most wanted men turns him into a hunter.

Matthew Green's curiosity leads him to hunt for a scoop about Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which is partly responsible for more than 20 years of atrocities in Uganda.

Kony's group is accused of abducting thousands of children for use as soldiers, porters and sex slaves. The group is reviled for cutting off their victims' ears and padlocking their lips.

Green's hunt for Kony is conducted at the same time as the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

To understand and find his prey, Green traces Kony's footsteps. A media report said Kony was a "self-proclaimed prophet who claims to take orders from a holy spirit. He wants to rule Uganda according to the Biblical Ten Commandments".

In a country with a history of dictatorship, Green paints the geographical image of where the journey takes place and how it started from colonialism, and the ruthless arms of Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

During his hunt he discovers tribal and religious influences behind what the UN dubbed "the world's biggest neglected humanitarian crisis". Green meets Kony's childhood friend Lakoch p'Oyoo, who tells him about the spirits that influenced Kony to start the war, and how he would have died if he did not follow the spirit's command.

Like most Westerners Green is confused about the spirits that possessed Kony. "My problem was trying to grasp what 'spirit' meant." He encounters the same problem when he interviews a young man who was abducted by Kony's soldiers. He also discovers that bad blood between the northern tribe, which Kony belongs to, and the southern one, of which President Yoweri Museveni is a member, had been brewing before Kony formed the LRA. Kony was a warrior from the Acholi tribe who had locked heads with Museveni.


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