18 Dec 2010

Lord's Resistance Army led by sadistic messiah enslaves, tortures and rapes children

The Independent - U.K. August 13, 2010

The Lord's Resistance Army's new reign of terror

By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent

One of Africa's most feared militias, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), has carried out a campaign of mass abductions on both sides of the remote border between the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to a human rights monitor.

Dozens of villages have been attacked, looted and burned, a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) revealed, while villagers have been tortured, their skulls crushed with clubs. Survivors have been tied up and marched into the jungle in human chains to serve as sex slaves, porters or fighters for the group. One-third of the nearly 700 civilians taken were reportedly children.

"The LRA continues its horrific campaign to replenish its ranks by brutally tearing children from their villages and forcing them to fight," said Anneke Van Woudenberg of the New York-based watchdog. "The evidence points to Joseph Kony, the LRA leader, as the author of this atrocious campaign."

The messianic cult began as an ethnic uprising against the government in Kampala but was pushed out of Uganda into DRC in 2005. Since then, the LRA has foraged along the inaccessible border areas of Congo, South Sudan and CAR and even as far as southern Darfur last year.

International concern over the group prompted the US Congress to pass a bill in May aimed at curbing their activities in central Africa. The Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act calls on the Obama administration to devise a strategy with local governments for ending the violence.

Uganda led a regional military campaign against the militia last November, but Operation Lightning Thunder failed to end the killings or capture the LRA leadership. Soon afterwards the dispersed militia fighters carried out an apparent revenge massacre in Makombo, northern Congo, killing 345 people. A similar spate of killings a year earlier left 865 people dead.

The failure to tackle the LRA is blamed by regional governments on the impossibility of policing remote jungle areas. Officials in southern Sudan accuse the northern leadership in Khartoum of backing Mr Kony in order to destabilise their southern flank. Some opposition figures in Uganda have questioned the commitment of President Yoweri Museveni to ending the LRA's activities - accusing him of using the threat of the militia as cover for internal repression.

The LRA operates in small, self-contained units and has become adept at living off the land, emptying civilian areas, pillaging entire districts for basic supplies and enslaving civilians on a huge scale. Captured children are often forced to kill their own parents, while those who are too weak for forced labour or high-speed marches are clubbed to death to save bullets. Thousands of women and children have been used as sex slaves by the group's leadership.

One 12-year-old Congolese girl said she was forced to participate in killing dozens of adults used to porter stolen goods to an LRA camp, to prevent them from revealing its location. "The LRA tied the hands of the victims behind their back, a cord around their legs and placed the victims face down on the ground," she told HRW. "Then the LRA would give us children a heavy wooden stick and force us to beat them on the head till they died."

The UN's peacekeeping mission in DRC has been called on to increase its protection of civilians. Past efforts to negotiate the surrender of the LRA have foundered on international insistence that the leadership must be arrested and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face trial for crimes against humanity.

Gentle boy to Psychopath

* The self-styled "prophet" Joseph Kony is an elusive and terrifying figure. Born in 1961, he inherited his mantle as leader of the Acholi people from his aunt, a mystic who started a rebellion in Uganda. Although it initially enjoyed popular backing, the rebel LRA long ago lost support after a brutal and incoherent campaign to "purify" the Acholi and turn Uganda into a theocracy ruled by the Ten Commandments.

* Kony has nurtured a cult of personality, claiming he is visited by a multinational host of 13 spirits, including a Chinese phantom. Former abductees speak in awed terms of his "magical powers". He is said to have taken up to 60 wives and fathered countless children.

* A school dropout described by former classmates as a "gentle boy" and a "brilliant" dancer who liked football, he became a traditional healer before taking up arms against the Ugandan government in 1988, following in his aunt's footsteps.

* He has since become one of the most sadistic leaders in Africa. In 2005, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest for crimes against humanity.

This article was found at:



Cult of Combat

Canada accused of undermining international court

Christian extremist Lord’s Resistance Army still enslaving children in Africa

U.S. paying wages of Somalia's child soldiers, neither country has ratified children's rights convention


  1. Invisible Children "Kony 2012" Leader Suggests It's About Jesus and Evangelizing

    By Bruce Wilson, Talk To Action
    March 8, 2012


    "A lot of people fear Christians, they fear Liberty University, they fear Invisible Children - because they feel like we have an agenda. They see us and they go, "You want me to sign up for something, you want my money. You want, you want me to believe in your God." And it freaks them out." --- Jason Russell, speaking at Liberty University, November 7, 2011

    Is Invisible Children a nonprofit devoted to human needs, or is it a ministry devoted to bringing souls to Jesus ? Judging by a talk co-founder Jason Russell gave last November at Liberty University, it would seem to be a bit of both.

    A few days ago, Russell's Invisible Children nonprofit began to blitz the Internet with posts on social media promoting the nonprofit's new KONY 2012 video, which by now has received over 36 million hits. The media campaign has already provoked a backlash of well informed criticism, from academics and other with expertise concerning Joseph Kony and the LRA, and the conflict in Northern Uganda and the surrounding region (see links and material, below transcript).

    Foreign Affairs charges Invisible Children with misrepresenting the facts, and Foreign Affairs guest contributor Michael Wilkerson notes the deceptive nature of the KONY 2012 video, narrated by Jason Russell, which mentions only in passing that Joseph Kony is no longer in Northern Uganda (his LRA hasn't operated there for years).

    Another common objection of critics has been that Invisible Children's approach is simplistic and neglects the fact that the Ugandan government (whose armed forces now hunting for Joseph Kony are accused of rape and looting) has itself been accused of crimes against humanity that at least rival but may exceed those of Joseph Kony and his LRA (see appended story resource links).

    Some, such as Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair author Michael Deibert, warn that Invisible Children's effort, which endorses increased US military involvement in the region, may actually make things worse.

    The evangelical magazine Christianity Today has covered the growing controversy over the Invisible Children publicity campaign, and Invisible Children has issued a response to the gathering criticism.

    So far few have noticed the decidedly evangelical ties of Invisible Children. But that's not surprising: Judging from the organization's website and promotional material, Invisible Children would seem to be non-religious, purely devoted to the health and well-being of children in Northern Uganda and the surrounding region, to "ending genocide", and to capturing Joseph Kony.

    On its face, the effort appears secular, and evangelizing is not mentioned as an objective.

    But in a November 7, 2011 appearance at Liberty University, as part of Liberty's Fall Convocation speaker series, Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell hinted that Invisible Children was also an evangelizing effort, and during his talk Russell coached Liberty University students on what could be characterized as extremely low-key, or stealth, evangelism.

    Joining Russell onstage during his November 7 Liberty University appearance was Alex Harris, credited with playing a key role in driving Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential bid. At 20:20 into the 39 minute discussion, Harris received a question from the Liberty University student audience - "What is the greatest challenge to the millennial generation, in impacting the world for Christ ?"

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    Jason Russell fielded the following question from the audience which was, as characterized by Johnnie Moore, Liberty University Vice President of Teaching Projects,"How do you motivate hypocritical, apathetic Christians to, kind of, `get in the fight'

    What was "the fight"? The message was ambiguous. Earlier in the discussion, Jason Russell had stated his goal of "ending genocide" and capturing Joseph Kony, but that goal seemed framed within the larger project of evangelizing the nations. During the discussion, as a backdrop, hung a blue curtain that proclaimed, "Liberty University: 40 Years of Training Champions For Christ".

    The lineup of notables on Liberty's Fall Convocation speaker roster also included Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Christian history revisionist David Barton, and pastor Jim Garlow, who spearheaded the project of organizing evangelical pastors in California, in the 2008 campaign to pass the anti-same sex marriage Proposition Eight (both Barton and Garlow also have ties to the Gingrich presidential campaign effort).

    [video, below: Jason Russell, with Alex Harris, at Liberty University, November 7, 2011]


    "Liberty University Convocation Discussion, November 7, 2011
    Jason Russell, co-founder of "Invisible Children"

    Question: How do you motivate hypocritical, apathetic Christians to, kind of, `get in the fight'?

    Russell: People are scared. Of Liberty University. [Addresses graduating students] You guys know this. They're scared because they see the power and potential in this room, the conviction you have, the connectivity you have. And they look at this arena and they go, "that's scary - if they realized what they could do, it would revolutionize the world." That's why you're here.

    And so I think that it is that insecurity or that realizing, "I don't have what it takes" - but you DO. We DO. And, the trick is to not go out into the world and say, "I'm going to baptize you, I'm going to convict you, I have an agenda to win you over."

    You agenda is to look into the eyes, as Jesus did, and say, "who are you? And will you be my friend?" - Like he did to the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the fisherman. The biggest mistake that we make is to saying, we make a line and we say, "black, white, are you in or are you out?"

    I just, I have a hard time digesting that mentality. And I think that's why a lot of people fear Christians, they fear Liberty University, they fear Invisible Children because they feel like we have an agenda. They see us and they go, "You want me to sign up for something, you want my money. You want, you want me to believe in your God.

    And it freaks them out.

    So figure out a way, you know - I have totally been there. I have been there so many times. I'm like, "I wonder if they know?" I wonder if they're in the group." And it's like, "No! That is judgment itself." "


    http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/samuel-olara/496-accounting-for-post-war-crimes-in-northern-uganda-monitor.html ( the best summary I've yet seen of conflict in Northern Uganda, 1986 - 2007 )

    Critiques of Invisible Children






    http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/122/ARTICLE/6586/2010-06-02.html ( "How Invisible Children Falsely Marketed The LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act" )

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    http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/1320/18249/Barry-from-Look-What-I-Did-responds-to-Invisible-Children-Organization.html ( Invisible Children confirms pro-interventionist stance )

    Alleged crimes and human rights abuses by Uganda and the Ugandan People's Defense Forces

    http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17456:updf-in-kony-hunt-accused-of-rape-looting&catid=78:topstories&Itemid=116 ( UPDF, hunting for Kony in DRC, accused of rape, looting )

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upITVcXw_Gk ( Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, shot his way into power using child soldiers )

    http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/116/10521.pdf ( Uganda was indicted, in 2005, by the International Criminal Court for War Crimes in DRC Congo )

    Reports, from UN, on Uganda & Rwanda war crimes in DRC Congo




    Wikipedia cover of DRC conflict


    Accusations of an Acholi Genocide

    [ Yoweri Museveni has been accused of engineering a planned, slow genocide against the Acholi people of Northern Uganda (note: Blackstar News links to web-cached versions of stories - site under heavy traffic load)]

    http://www.musevenimemo.org/ ( David Todd Whitmore, of University of Notre Dame, studies traditional Acholi culture, says 1980s memo, allegedly from Yoweri Museveni, indicates plan to depopulate Acholi areas of Northern Uganda, to open up access for fertile farmland. )

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/05/secret_photos_r/ ( ABC report suggests Ugandan government coverup )

    http://www.acholitimes.com/culture/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13:genocide-in-uganda-the-african-nightmare-christopher-hitchens-missed&catid=3:genocide-in-acholi-the-conspiracy-of-silence&Itemid=23 - ( " Genocide in Uganda: The African Nightmare Christopher Hitchens Missed " )

    http://www.independent.co.ug/News/news/3865-planned-massacre-of-the-acholi ( Uganda Independent covers accusations of an Acholi genocide )



    http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/documents/20/65-structure-a-agency-in-acholi-genocide.html ( "Structure and Agency in Acholi Genocide" )

    http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=68&Itemid=43 ( "Genocide in Comparative Perspective; the Jewish and Acholi Experience" )

    http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/columnists/161-the-achol-qfinal-solutionq.html ( "The Acholi Final Solution", 2007, by Milton Allimadi, editor of NYC-based Blackstar News )

    http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=book/export/html/10361 ( "Ending Uganda's "Brilliant" Genocide", Allimadi )


    http://www.ugandagenocide.info/ ( general source for writings on Acholi conflict & Ugandan gov. )

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:BPk1NvWo7_cJ:www.blackstarnews.com/%3Fc%3D122%26a%3D4751+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us ( report from Dr. Adam Branch, whose research is based in Northern Uganda )

    http://www.david-kilgour.com/mp/Ugandan%20IDP%20Camps%20&%20Children.htm ( Canadian parliament member, on Acholi camps )

    http://www.blackcommentator.com/93/93_otika_uganda.html ( Ugandan student, studying in US, weighs in )

  4. Kibwetere is Uganda’s most wanted man

    By Vision reporter, New Vision Uganda March 17, 2012

    Ugandan cult leader, Joseph Kibwetere who masterminded the tragic inferno in which 1000 people died in early 200, is still Uganda's most wanted man.

    Kibwetere led the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God cult movement.

    Heis still wanted in connection with the tragic death of 1000 people who perished in an intentionally set fire at the group's church compound in Kanungu.

    Kibwetere's is believed to have fled the compound as soon as the church went up in flames.

    Government has maintained that police is working with Interpol to track down Kibwetere and his accomplices

    Kanungu tragedy – March 17, 2000

    On 17 March 2000 about 1000 people were burnt to death in Kanungu, Rukungiri (now Kanungu) District.

    Those who were burnt belonged to a religious cult calling itself the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, popularly known as Kibwetere cult, led by Joseph Kibwetere, Credonia Mwerinde, Angelina Mugisha, Fr. Joseph Kasapurari and Fr. Dominic Kataribabo.

    At first it was assumed that the Kanungu massacre was mass suicide by the members of the cult who were convinced about going to heaven through fire but later it was established that it was planned and executed by the cult leadership.

    The victims of the inferno included children too young to make independent decisions.

    Before dust could settle after the Kanungu tragedy, it was discovered that many more people belonging to the same cult had died and been secretly buried in other camps outside Kanungu including Bushenyi and Buziga near Kampala.

    By the end of March the death toll of the cult members had risen to about 1000 people. The Kanungu tragedy and its aftermath invariably generated national and international concern.


    Joseph Kibwetere was a primary school teacher by profession and at one time an Assistant Supervisor of Schools in Mbarara Catholic Diocese.

    He had about 16 children including 3 he had got outside marriage. He was recruited by Credonia Mwerinde together with two other women, Angelina Mugisha and Ursula Komuhangi.

    The cult leader ordained ‘bishop’ of the cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God in 1991. He was Mwerinde’s right hand man. He separated with his wife in 1992.

    Credonia Mwerinde was born in Kanungu at Kateete, Nyabugoto, the place where Kibwetere’s camp was situated. (She donated her father’s land at Kateete as the cult’s base) Mwerinde became a key figure in the cult’s leadership and was put in charge of all programmes.

    She was known as the ‘programmer’ among her followers and religiously as ‘Ekyombeko kya Maria’ (the Virgin Mary’s structure). She was believed to represent a message from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    The Cult’s Doctrine

    The whole cult revolved around a belief that some people were talking with God through visions and had received warnings from the Blessed Virgin Mary about the end of the world by the year 2000 (apocalypse).

    The followers were not supposed to go to hell if they strictly followed the cult (The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God).

    For the devout Christians the whole concept of ‘okubonekyerwa’ (getting heavenly visions) was very appealing.

    The cult talked of the doomsday. According to their former preacher, Martino Nuwagaba, they preached as far back as the Easter of 1992 about how on that "last day" snakes as big as wheels of tractors and big blocks of cement will fall from heaven onto the sinners.

    They preached of three days of consecutive darkness that will engulf the whole world and how only their camps were supposed to be safe havens, something reminiscent of the biblical Noah's Ark.

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    It is said that even sealing the church doors and windows by nail before setting the church on fire was to create that darkness situation that was a prelude to the apocalypse.

    They promised their followers that when all this happened, everybody would perish except their followers and that whatever remained on earth would be theirs alone and that they would then start communicating directly with Jesus.

    Followers believed in this so much so that they considered themselves the most privileged people on earth.

    Characteristics of the cult that enabled it do what it did

    Leaders warned the cult members about the end of the world and the visions.

    The cult and its leaders violated human rights (the right to education, health, property, marriage, freedom, speech, parenthood, childhood, etc.).

    The leaders rarely recruited close relatives or neighbours.

    They separated families, including children, and took them to different camps in a new environment where they would not socialise easily.

    They used to erect fences around their buildings/camps. The fences would be opaque enough to prevent those outside from seeing what was happening inside.

    They created total detachment between their followers and the society around them.

    Producing children and having sex among followers even between spouses were strictly forbidden.

    Leaders instilled too much fear among their followers.

    It relied on deception, prophecies and lies through selective readings of the Bible. The Bible was usually read out of context.

    Apart from the leaders, other members of the cult were not allowed to talk. They used signs to communicate among themselves and to their cult leaders.

    They had a tight day's schedule that kept the followers extremely busy so that there was virtually no time to discuss, not even in signs.

    They tried to keep within the law and be close, very friendly and generous to the authorities, which helped them to avoid any suspicions from the state.

    They usually travelled at night so they could not easily be noticed even by neighbours.

    They did not own their own transport/vehicles. They usually hired vehicles to travel, they were therefore not easy to identify.

    They used to command all followers to sell all their property and bring all the proceeds to the cult leaders.

    They used to burn property under the pretext that the Blessed Virgin Mary was annoyed with the owners.

    They created a property-less and helpless society of followers who became totally dependent on the cult and had nothing to fall back to.

    They fully exploited the general view among Ugandans that religious people are always innocent, humble, harmless and peace-loving which helped them plan and carry out mischief and crimes without being detected at all.

    Cult members got completely detached from their 'non-believer' relatives. Therefore the latter could not follow, know or detect what was going on in the cult camps.

    All cult camps were terminus so that there would be no passers-by.