Monday, 1 October 2012

Mostly Pointless Sidenote

I recognize that there are a lot of major issues going on around me right now (this, this, and this), but I feel like I've been slightly 'low-energy' over the past few days. Not that I haven't engaged with the issues - they've been a focal point of work, meetings, and discussions - I just haven't had the inspiration to write a particularly insightful or clever post about them.

Instead, I took to reading other blogs. On international justice. And then I read this one, and it made me self conscious about blogging. So, I've moderately changed the title of the blog (see if you notice). Hopefully it maintains some semblance of credibility.


In other news, I have noticed that Invisible Children continues to try and resurrect itself, through 'post-breakdown' interviews on Oprah (I had no idea she had a new show). I have also noticed their 'Defection Campaign' (see here and here), which is actually founded on good principles and is a great initiative, especially reaching out through radio media. It would just be nice if they recognized somewhere, anywhere, that the defection process has been severely hampered by the lapse of the Amnesty Law in Uganda back in May 2012. Or that there are ongoing challenges with resettling and reintegrating ex-combatants.

I blogged last month about attending a forum with victims in Gulu, which focused specifically on the Amnesty Law. Amnesty granted the ex-combatant immunity from prosecution, a small amount of money, some food, and some household and agricultural appliances. In fact, one of the documents that IC cites notes that the Amnesty Act is the "single most significant pull factor" (Page 8) for rebels to leave the bush (there have been around 26,000 amnesties granted). In the forum, one thing that was mentioned was that the rate at which rebels had left the bush, from when the Amnesty Law had been enacted (2000), had diminished over time. So it would seem logical that ending the granting of amnesty would certainly throw a major roadblock into any defection campaign. And I'll be repetitive and say that issues of resettlement (getting ex-rebels into homes) and reintegration (community acceptance of the ex-rebels) continue to be major challenges. And that is not even delving into the complicated matter of the actual victims of the conflict.

I would think that those issues would be fairly important to address or at least acknowledge, before engaging in mass littering in the forests of Uganda/DRC/CAR.

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