Lord's Resistance Army Massacre

On both of the last two Christmases, the Lord's Resistance Army has massacred hundreds of civilians across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. United Nations peacekeepers are bracing for another round of attacks this year. And Stephen Lewis says Canada has a duty to intervene more forcefully in order to prevent another massacre.



PART ONE

It's Thursday, December 23rd.

President Barack Obama has repealed the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy for gay men and women in the military.

Currently ...

Music: "Everybody Dance Now ... "

(over the music) This is The Current.

LRA Massacre - Marcel Stoessel

We started this segment with a clip from Joseph Kony. He's the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, a ruthless paramilitary rebel group based in northern Uganda. Joseph Kony has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for murder and enslavement.

And he has marked the last two Christmas seasons by sending his troops into villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo to brutalize, murder and kidnap the men, women and children who live there. More than 1,000 people were killed in those attacks. And hundreds more were forced into the LRA.

This year, families across the DRC worry that despite the presence of United Nations Peacekeepers, another so-called "Christmas massacre" could be on its way. Marcel Stoessel has been talking to some of those families. He's the head of Oxfam's Congo office and he was in the capital, Kinshasa.

LRA Massacre - Panel

Many believe that what's happening in the DRC falls clearly under the doctrine of what's called Responsibility to Protect. And since Canada helped lead the charge on that issue, many Canadians argue Canada has an obligation to get involved.

However not everyone thinks we'd be able to do that, even if we wanted to. So for their thoughts on what -- if any -- role Canada should play in the DRC, we were joined by two people. Stephen Lewis is Canada's former Ambassador to the United Nations. He's now the Chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and he's in Marathon, Florida. And Lewis MacKenzie is a retired Canadian Major-General. He was the first commander of the UN peacekeeping forces in Sarajevo in Bosnia Herzegovina. He was in Almonte, Ontario.

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