“The role of history is critically important, to bring in a more contemporary conversation about what’s going on now. When we disconnect what’s happening in the present moment from historical context, it allows people to think these present conditions are a function of the short-comings of the individual people, which allows people to make comments referring to these environments as, quote, unquote, ‘shitholes.’ When we do that we fundamentally fail to understand that these present conditions are a function of these post-colonial conditions that implicate a whole range of actors across the globe.” – Osagie Obasogie, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Public Health
Over the past month, Life of the Law’s team of journalists and scholars have published a three part series of feature investigative reports on Uganda, examining the long-term impact of the violence committed on the people of the East African nation by rebels with the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA.
Beginning in the mid-1980’s and for more than a decade, LRA rebels abducted 60,000 people from towns and villages in northern Uganda, many of them young girls and boys who were then forced to fight, kill and loot. Young girls spent years in captive marriages, forced to bear the children of LRA commanders.
This week, our production team, Life of the Law’s Senior Producer, Tony Gannon; Professor Annie Bunting of York University in Toronto and Nancy Mullane, Life of the Law’s Executive Producer and Editor on the series, met up IN-STUDIO with Osagie Obasogie, Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and a member of Life of the Law’s Advisory Board, and Kim Seelinger, Director of the Sexual Violence Program at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center to discuss the making of the series UGANDA, children in conflict zones, and what justice has come to represent, so many years after the crisis began.
If you missed the first THREE PARTS of our series on Uganda, reported by Gladys Oroma from Gulu Uganda, we encourage you to take some time to hear the 30 year stories of Beatrice and Samuel, two of the 20,000 children abducted by the LRA:
In Part 1: ABDUCTED Beatrice and Samuel share their lives before they were captured by the LRA, the night they were abducted from their homes, and their march into captivity.
In Part 2: ESCAPE no longer the children they were when they were abducted, years later Beatrice and Samuel share their terrifying attempts to escape from the LRA, and their fear of Ugandan government troops.
In Part 3: JUSTICE Beatrice and Samuel take us with them as they return to their families and communities, and try to build a life post conflict.
Send your comments on this series or on our other episodes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UGANDA: PART 4 – IN-STUDIO was produced by Tony Gannon and Nancy Mullane, with production support by Andrea Hendrickson. Rachael Cain is our Post-Production Editor. Howard Gelman engineered the recording from KQED in San Francisco, and Joe Lenartiene engineered our recording from the studios of WQCS in Ft. Pierce, Florida. P
We want to thank the Conjugal Slavery in War SSHRC Partnership at csiw-ectg.org for their support for the series. Special thanks to Daphne Keevil Harrold for her editing and fact-checking and Rosebell Kagumire for her early production work on the series.
https://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5290.htm (I am Evelyn Amony)
http://fic.tufts.edu/location/uganda/ (Feinstein, TUFTS work on Uganda)
http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/DolanSocial (Chris Dolan, Social Torture)
https://www.ubcpress.ca/contemporary-slavery (Bunting and Quirk, Contemporary Slavery with Bunting chapter on forced marriage as crime against humanity)