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Kidnapping children for battle, from Nigeria to Uganda

April 16th, 2014
03:18 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

They come in the night.

Armed militants take young children from their beds, as they sleep: Young recruits for extremist causes.

It happened this week in Nigeria, when heavily armed Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped 200 girls from their boarding school.

And it has been happening in northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and other neighboring countries for decades – the work of Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour covered Kony’s sick work 16 years ago, for 60 Minutes, when she reported on the abduction of 139 girls from their school.

She spoke with their teacher, Sister Rachele Fassera, who begged for the children’s return.

“He bent down and on the ground he wrote, ‘The girls are 139. I will give you a 109.’ He wrote, ‘I keep 30,’ Sister Raquelle told Amanpour at the time.”

“I knelt in front of him,” she said. “And I said, please give me all the girls. He said, ‘No.’ [crying] Then they started, ‘Sister, they will rape us tonight. Sister, will you come back tonight?’”

“That was the last time I saw them.”

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Nigeria • Uganda

How American evangelicals may be responsible for Uganda’s anti-gay law

February 24th, 2014
04:02 PM ET

While Ugandan President Museveni accuses the United States of trying to import social imperialism into Uganda by defending homosexual rights, who do you think is behind some of the anti-gay hysteria in Uganda right now?

A group of evangelical Christians from that very same hotbed of social imperialism: the United States of America.

Museveni on Monday signed into law a bill that toughens penalties against gay people and defines some homosexual acts as crimes punishable by life in prison.

Roger Ross Williams belonged to an organization called International House of Prayer in Missouri, whose missionary zeal fell on gays in Uganda. He decided to make a film about what he learned called “God Loves Uganda.”

Someone like evangelist Scott Lively is “an extremist in America,” Williams said, “but when he goes to Uganda he gets taken seriously because of what he represents.”

“He’s an American evangelical, and what an American represents in a place like Uganda – it represents power and wealth.”

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Uganda

Some gay Ugandans would rather die than live under new law

February 24th, 2014
02:28 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Some gay people in Uganda would rather kill themselves than live under that country’s new anti-homosexuality law, signed today by President Yoweri Museveni.

“People are afraid of losing their lives,” Ugandan gay rights activist Pepe Julian Onziema told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on the phone from the capital, Kampala.

“Prior to the bill becoming law today, people attempted suicide because they are like, ‘I’m not going to live to see this country kill me – so I would rather take my life.’”

Homosexual acts had already been illegal in Uganda, but the new law signed by Museveni toughens penalties against gay people and makes some homosexual acts crimes punishable by life in prison.

Many who fear violence have already fled the country for the “nearest border,” Onziema told Amanpour.

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Uganda

PHOTOS: Gay couples in Uganda

February 24th, 2014
02:01 PM ET

On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill that toughens penalties against gay people and makes some homosexual acts crimes punishable by life in prison.

In 2011 and 2014, photographer Daniella Zalcman travelled to Uganda to photograph gay rights activists and their partners.

Click above to see her photos.


Filed under:  Uganda