From Beautiful Jinja to the War-Torn North
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.