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If you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender in Uganda, you are considered a criminal under the law. Homosexuality is currently illegal in Uganda and anyone who engages in homosexual activity is subject to up to 14 years of imprisonment. On October 13, 2009 the Ugandan government proposed a new bill that would both allow for harsher punishments and broaden the scope of those who fall under the jurisdiction of this law.

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In December 2009, the Lord’s Resistance Army attacked and murdered 321 Congolese citizens in the village of Makombo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Human Rights Watch. This massacre is a testament to the LRA’s relentless tactics to dominate the region, reports The Christian Science Monitor. The LRA masqueraded as Ugandan and Congolese soldiers as they entered the village and reassured the civilians that they had nothing to fear.

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Three young filmmakers from California embarked on a journey to Africa in the spring of 2003 to explore the continent and capture it on film. But they never expected to be exposed to the tragic lifestyle and realities of night commuters and child soldiers living in northern Uganda. The reality of these people’s struggles not only shook up the young filmmakers but also spurred them to get involved and find ways to help.

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On Tuesday night, in a room at Boston College crowded with students eager to hear her words, Grace Akello, author of Girl Solider, shared her story.  She began by showing a brief video, which gave an overview of the treacherous war in northern Uganda and highlighted the plight of the innocent “children caught in the crossfire.”  International support, such as that by World Vision, has helped to bring hope to the situation but, in a country like Uganda where “amber alerts” do not exist, children remain in danger even today.

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Twenty-one years. For twenty-one years the people of Uganda have endured civil war, widespread murder, rape of their women, and the abduction of their children. As the perpetrators of this violence, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has proved to be nothing less than what their name claims—resistant. After more than two decades of countless international efforts for peacekeeping in Uganda, the LRA still brings fear and hostility into the region.

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