Thursday, November 8, 2007



A land of interesting absurdities. Sometimes I cannot believe that I can zoom from an internet age to a pre-historic age, all in the same country. It is my country. I would not change it for any other, but I cannot close my eyes to what is!

We have a madman called Kony who for 20 years or so has been leading an armed resistance in the northern part of the country. He wants to establish a society that is based on the Ten Commandments. He calls it the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). For that reason he has waged a war of fear, and naked terror. Cutting off the noses and lips of people, if he does not kill them outright. His own people. Abducting children, to turn them into child soldiers to swell his ranks. Others for his sex slaves. He has established a virtual kingdom where he is the absolute ruler.

We have been having an absurdly stupid peace process going on. Absurd because it has been on and off for more than a year. Yet good because in that year, for the first time in more than ten years, there has been a relative peace in the north of the country. Children have been able to go back to school. Those who were displaced in the camps have returned home. Children no longer trek to Gulu to sleep, fearing abduction if they stay at home.

In the last week we learnt that he apparently had some differences with his second in command, and third in command, maybe. The two underlings seemed not to have survived the clash with the master. He has appointed others. What does it mean for the peace process?

Sometimes it bothers me how cheap life, our lives seem. Relative to the whole large world out there.

In Kampala, we are preparing for that Commonwealth meeting. CHOGM. I am heartily sick of the preparations.

Yet I cannot help but think of the different priorities which we all have, though in the same country. I want the war in the north to end, conclusively, permanently. So do most Ugandans. But at the moment, we are preparing for a party, and we cannot but be distracted by the coming festivities. The whole country is involved.

And the situation in the Kony Camps just on the other side of the border is (maybe) bad.

We human beings are an absurd lot. Very illogical. The things which concern us differ, and they concern us for a very short time. Short attention span!

I am more concerned by the traffic jams, the problems getting home after work, by how bad the city will be disrupted during the 3 days of the meeting. The Kony thing is at the periphery of my thoughts. I know the madman is really mad, but since he is so far away, I would rather be concerned by the more immediate problems of food in my stomach!


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