By ROSE MARSH, age 11

PHOTO: Charles Akena/IRIN
Uganda has been relatively peaceful since 2006 when Kony and his army left. These people returned home only to find themselves in land disputes. Here they meet to decide where to go next. PHOTO: Charles Akena/IRIN

Millions of people watched the video, KONY 2012. The video spread like crazy on Facebook, Twitter and email. Most people who watched it were disgusted by the killing and the use of child soldiers by Joseph Kony in the rampaging violence of the Lord’s Resistance Army in remote areas in northern Uganda, a country in East Africa.

The video was the first many people had ever heard about Uganda. Kids learn next to nothing in school about Africa or what the U.S. government is doing in the region. We don’t get much information in the mass media either.

The terrible brutality of the war in Uganda makes people want to do something to stop it. You can’t watch the video and not want to take action against Joseph Kony. He should be arrested for his crimes.

The video is very emotional but it doesn’t tell the whole story about the politics of Uganda or of that part of Africa. Uganda, it turns out, has a huge supply of oil. The United States and some other rich countries want to control that oil and profit from it. That was part of the reason, perhaps the main reason, the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. The United States now basically controls Iraq’s huge oil supply.

I think that kids should get the full story about Uganda so that they don’t just watch one video and then decide that it is okay for the United States to invade Uganda. The U.S. government might be saying “we want to help the Ugandans against Kony” as an excuse to invade Uganda to control its oil – what happened in Iraq.

Instead of catching and arresting Kony, we might start a war between the United States and Uganda for their oil in which even more people in Uganda will die.

PHOTO: Flickr.com/US Army Africa
A student soldier trains in Uganda. PHOTO: Flickr/US Army Africa

HIGHLIGHTS OF UGANDA’S HISTORY

Late 1980s The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) formed to take over the government of Uganda. The LRA was extremely violent to the people in northern Uganda.

2006 Oil reserves discovered in Uganda.

The LRA moved out of Uganda to neighboring countries.

2008 The United States (under President Bush) provided military assistance and equipment to the Ugandan military to attack the LRA. The Ugandan military is also known for war crimes.

2011 The United States (under President Obama) sent 100 military advisers to help attack the LRA, which has about 250 fighters in countries around Uganda.

2012 10,000 Ugandans watched the Kony 2012 video in a stadium and threw stones at the event’s organizers. Saturday Monitor, a Ugandan news service, reported that many Ugandans felt the movie was misleading and that it is using them to make money.

PHOTO: Flickr/PipPipHooray1
PHOTO: Flickr.com/PipPipHooray1