The worst place on earth to be a child today is northern Uganda. The suffering is far worse than in Darfur in duration, magnitude and long-term consequences. Genocide is being carried out by the government against the Acholi people.
The population of northern Uganda is trapped between the brutality of the Lord’s Resistance Army and that of the government. The LRA rebels have been responsible for brutal atrocities, including massacres, abductions of children and gruesome maimings. The government cynically uses the LRA’s activity to divert attention from what is happening in the government’s concentration camps. A carefully scripted narrative has been promoted by the government according to which the human rights catastrophe begins with the LRA and will end with its demise. In this respect, the LRA’s war and the war against the LRA have become both the cover and the pretext for genocide.
Olara A. Otunnu, former United Nations undersecretary general, is president of the LBL Foundation for Children, which is based in New York City and devoted to providing hope, healing and education for children affected by war.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).