For over 20 years now, the Lord’s Resistance Army has been kidnapping, brainwashing, and killing children in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. These children are taken from their homes and forced to fight to create a government in Uganda based on the Ten Commandments. The leader of this movement is Joseph Kony, a self proclaimed prophet, who is wanted by the ICC for war crimes. The number of children the Army has kidnapped is believed to be over 25,000, and the LRA itself is 80% children.
The LRA finds the children by attacking boarding schools while the children are sleeping. They tell the children they will be killed if they do not come with the rebels. After this, the rebels kill many anyway, or the kidnapped children are forced to kill each other as some type of initiation. The young girls deemed attractive are given to commanders as wives, and the others are killed.
The tactics used by the Lord’s Resistance Army to brainwash the children are mostly religious. Commanders make the children do the sign of the cross before every fight or they are punished. The commands are sometimes given while speaking in tongues. The children put oil on their weapons and are told that the Holy Spirit will then protect them.
The children in the LRA are brainwashed and sent to abduct and attack other children. There are reported cases of children chopping off the ears, nose, lips, and fingers of other kids suspected of fighting for the Ugandan army.
International attention was pointed at Kony when a campaign called Kony 2012 was started in that year. There have been multiple organizations trying to draw interest towards the atrocities happening in Uganda.
The power of the LRA has weakened in recent years. The secession of South Sudan separated the LRA from its allies in northern Sudan and an international task force has been created to hunt down Kony and his commanders. Joseph Kony is thought to be in hiding in the Central African Republic or dead.