Friday, January 23, 2009

Good News and Bad News

The Good News:

A few weeks ago The Child Soldier Prevention Act was signed into law by President Bush. Currently, American tax dollars go toward military assistance for six governments using child soldiers. The Child Soldier Prevention Act restricts that funding. I believe it is a strong step in the right direction.

My only exposure to child soldiering has been in Northern Uganda. There, the Lords Resistance Army uses children almost exclusively as they are easy to brainwash and control. One of the big stumbling block in opposing the LRA is that their main enemy, the government of Uganda, also enlists children as young as 13 into their army. Hopefully this act will force governments like Uganda into acting more responsibly.

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The Bad News:

To think this act will do anything significant in the fight against child soldiering is a fallacy. The problem is that the overwhelming majority of child soldering is done by rebel groups, not government armies. Just a few weeks ago the LRA abducted at least another 160 children in what is known as the Christmas Massacres. I missed this story when it happened last month, but when I finally read about it I nearly threw up. I have dear friends in Northern Uganda and to think of them being killed in such grotesque ways is just sickening. The people in these bush villages are so peaceful and friendly; it breaks my heart to read stories like this.

1 comment:

Chad K Miller said...

Chris, thanks for bringing light and honesty to this issue. Maybe it will help some? In what ways can I help?