Footnotes from the British Underground

This blog began as venue for my stories as I traveled in Africa. 18 months later, I return to it as I travel to study as a Marshall Scholar in the United Kingdom. My hope is that this blog can be a conduit for you - my family, friends and secret/strange admirers - to track my movements, see a photo or two and get a glimpse of my days in the UK. Apologies once again to Dostoevsky for the blog's name...

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Location: Bradford, United Kingdom

After graduating from Notre Dame, I'm off to England for graduate study. I'll be studying for a M.A. in International Politics and Security Studies. When not studying, I'm continuing to coordinate Uganda-CAN's efforts to end the 20-year war in northern Uganda!

24.4.05

From Beautiful Jinja to the War-Torn North

This weekend, I traveled to Jinja - the former industrial center of Uganda, a town about 100 kilometers east of Kampala. Jinja is a beautiful town, located right on the banks of both Lake Victoria and the Nile River. I went to visit the Holy Cross fathers there who run a few schools and have a center for up-and-coming east African seminarians. They were extremely hospitable, feeding me a great fish dinner and touring me around their different sites.

Now I am back up in northern Uganda for three day stint of interviews and research. As I got up here, I was struck by the massive numbers of street children here. More and more are now entering the city as the sun falls. They are pushed into the town for safety from the Lord's Resistance Army, which seeks to abduct and manipulate children for their use as soldiers. The Uganda military, UPDF, has failed to provide security in the rural areas, so these children are sent by their parents to spent the night in the town, where they will sleep on the streets under verandas.

I have heard that there is a powerful documentary called "Invisible Children" about the plight of these "night commuter" children in the Uganda war. Many people have praised it and said it is very accurate in regards to the tremendous suffering faced by children here.

I will write more about my findings and experiences here as the days go on. I am once again struck by the diversity of this country, highlighted by my quick journey from the beautiful, growing town of Jinja to the war-torn north of Uganda. The regional paradoxes and contradictions accentuate the crisis of national identity in modern Uganda. More on this in the days ahead.

2 Comments:

Blogger Kessy Inno. said...

Oh I've to say: congratulation.I just got time for the first time to read through your blog, it's very good; I've liked your various views.Keep it up.

Innocent Kessy
Seminarian in Jinja(Holy Cross)

8:01 PM GMT+1  
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12:34 PM GMT+1  

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