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!

14.9.06

Let Peace and Justice Roll Forth in Northern Uganda

As I prepare to set off for Great Britain, I can't help but think of what a wild ride it's been over the last 16 months with starting Uganda-CAN and trying to make some contribution to ending the brutal 20-year war in northern Uganda. It's been painful to witness the complex and overwhelming interests - economic, political, social and religious - that embed apathy and contribute to the intransigence of such neglected emergencies. And yet, it's been so inspiring to meet people of all walks of life whose stories have become intertwined in the work of peacebuilding and in our case, peace advocacy.

All of us involved are anxiously monitoring the historic peace talks underway in Juba, seeking ways to support this process and ensure that it can usher in lasting peace and security. The advent of the talks was a surprise to most of us, and their remarkable success (thusfar) unseen by any. And yet, I can't help but think of the passage from the Book of Amos that Dr. King quoted so often: "And let JUSTICE roll forth like the waters, and RIGHTEOUSNESS like a constant flowing torrent." There are so many moments of tragedy, and then, in the dust of our frustrations, waves of hope roll forth. Dr. King also had the famous quote: "The arc of a moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

For the people of northern Uganda, justice and peace are long overdue. They have endured the most horrific atrocities and inhumane conditions for two decades, neglected by their own government and the international community. Even against the despondency of their situation, I talked with people in Gulu and Lira that still hope and pray and struggle to overcome...

We're continuing our work with Uganda-CAN. If peace talks continue (and even reach an agreement), our role will change. However, the importance of keeping international eyes and ears to the crisis won't change anytime soon. With October's events - the Lobby Day and global GuluWalk 2006 - we're hoping to build momentum that can push for real engagement by the diplomatic community to make a lasting peace a real priority.

Be sure to check www.UgandaCAN.org now and again (and again) to see what we're up to and how you can be part of justice rolling forth like the waters here and in Uganda.

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