Our very own Ugandan correspondent, Kisaka Robinson, analyses the recent Kony2012 internet phenomenon and highlights the real problems affecting northern Uganda currently:
Recently the organization ‘Invisible Children’ launched a 30-minutes documentary entitled, Kony 2012.The documentary is full of tears and misery among people both young and old. The atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army happened in the sub-Acholi region for over 20 years. According to the documentary, everyone agrees with Gavin, Mr.Russell’s son, that Kony is a “bad guy” who must be “stopped”.
However, the documentary did not clearly represent the state of northern Uganda now. Kony and the LRA are no longer a threat to Uganda’s security. Kony has fled to DRC and Central African Republic; the script shown was of last century! Another problem of the video is its failure to acknowledge the contributions already being made by Uganda’s government to stop Kony.
Instead of a campaign to catch Kony the world should now focus on the mysterious nodding disease which is severely affecting northern Uganda now. The out-break of this disease was first reported in northern Uganda in 2009 in Kitgum, Lamwo and Pader districts. So far thousands of children between 5 and 15 years have been affected, and the death toll has run to hundreds. The disease is characterized by a head-nodding episode that consists of two repetitive forward drops of the head; it also accompanied by staring spells. In action children stop feeding and appear non-responsive; some develop malnutrition but the disease is not contagious.
Similar cases were identified in Tanzania in 1962, Liberia in 1983 and Southern Sudan in 2003; to date, though, there is no identified cause or cure for the disease. The focus of East African’s and the global community should now be placed on nodding disease which threatens the lives of young people and the rehabilitation of northern Uganda for future generations. Kony is no longer Uganda’s problem but I sincerely hope for those who have lost their dear ones that he faces justice in the Hague when he is captured.
Opinion Piece by Kisaka Samuel Robinson, Kampala.
Kisaka Samuel Robinson graduated from Makerere University with a BA in Tourism in 2010. Currently based in Kampala (Uganda) he works as a research assistant and with Buganda Kingdom. For any academics/students/organisations conducting research within Uganda Robinson may be contacted at the address below.