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CANDACE  SCHARSU  PHOTOGRAPHY

Lord Joseph Kony and the LRA in Eastern Congo 2009
Democratic Republic of Congo

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Aba Signpost

Aba, Congo: The cobwebbed old signpost signifying the ghost town it’s become. Most the population fled to Sudan to live as refugees. The few who remained keep out of sight, trying to live yet be invisible so that Joseph Kony's LRA rebels won’t abduct their children.        —Candace Scharsu August 5, 2009

   
Victor Pamba, age 14, abducted by Lord Joseph Kony's LRA February 2, 2009.  

After 20 years of terrorizing Northern Uganda, displacing its population, and abducting its children to be sold as slaves in Sudan, or recruited as child soldiers, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) fled when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for their leader Joseph Kony. The self-proclaimed god shifted his base to Garamba forest in Eastern Congo, a place of routine lawlessness, where perpetrators of systemic rape, torture and murder will never be held accountable, where atrocity is committed with impunity. A place populated by countless rebel factions including the Interahamwe (Hutu fugitives who committed the genocide in Rwanda). The no-one-gives-a-damn place, where no humanitarian crisis is gruesome enough, nor any pile of corpses high enough, to inspire international response. The LRA raids nearby Aba frequently, killing civilians and kidnapping children, and their only defense is a small Ugandan (not Congolese) army unit that pursues the rebels and attempts rescuing the young hostages.

—Candace Scharsu

  Rose Lakot's lower ear was torn off by the LRA bullet that killed her mother. - more of Lord Kony's handiwork  

Above Left:  Victor Pamba, age 14, abducted by Joseph Kony's LRA February 2, 2009.   Above Right:  Rose Lakot. Joseph Kony’s rebels, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), continues to avoid capture and prosecution: 11 years ago in Northern Uganda, before moving to Eastern Congo, the LRA bullet that killed her mother took a piece of her ear off while she was being breastfed. A month old, she would continue nursing at her dead mother’s breast for many days before miraculously being discovered among the corpses.        —Candace Scharsu

 
Ngarimi Lado, 11 years old, with his grandmother. Lord Kony's LRA killed his grandfather and abducted him and his two sisters in May 2009. His sisters have not been seen since.
    Mondiyo Munialeko, age 15, who along with her sister Aroyo Pamba, 17, was abducted by Lord Kony's LRA March 18, 2009. Mondiyo would be shot in the leg and her sister killed.
Ngarimi Lado, 11 years old, with his grandmother. Lord Kony's LRA killed his grandfather and abducted him along with his two sisters in May 2009. His sisters have not been seen since.  
Mondiyo Munialeko, age 15, who along with her sister Aroyo Pamba, 17, was abducted by Joseph Kony's LRA March 18, 2009. Mondiyo would be shot in the leg and her sister Aroyo killed.
Funerals are a daily occurrence in the Eastern Congo.

At 35 years old Deau Cephorose died during childbirth because there was no blood bank. There is no communications system, no national radio, no postal service, no airport, no electricity, no banks, no local currency (Ugandan shillings and dollars used); no transportation, no roads, and precious few medical supplies.

Those supplies that miraculously do arrive are seized by one or more of the many rebel factions that make the lawless Eastern Congo their sanctuary.

–Candace Scharsu

 
 

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