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Last Updated: 02/23/2005Now We Pain and Groan
Catherine A. Onekalit
Uganda, alternately beautiful and gruesome, continues to be at war. Is there hope for the future? A personal reflection.
The days so picturesque, the nights even
better with the moon always out, a rare occurrence of African nights. Its
reflection so stunning and provoking sending shivers to the heart. The morning
wind, cold but teasingly erotic, you would hear its whisper and see it flirt
with the soils and fallen leaves, so amazing. I remember everyday we awoke to
this weather, during the cool hours of dawn. The men and women went to till
their fields, children walked to school with exercise books in hand. Indeed,
year in year out we brought glory not only to our homeland (Acholiland) but our
Today we pain, and groan. Pierced in the mind, shaken with fear, numb. Our faces straight and eyes blank and devoid of emotion. Living in a world too gruesome for anyone to imagine, yet we must endure. We try to remain human in inhuman circumstances. We hear the rebel commander is cleansing the Acholi so that only pure ones remain. Once captured, a tear tantamount to 50 stokes of cane, which is almost unbearable, and the beatings are done with vehemence. The abductions and their aftermaths have spread like wild fire, Lira, Apac, Soroti, Katakwi, Adjumani, Moyo, Arua, children being initiated into active combat, in the most horrific blood thirsty rituals, but still, many say, yes many say, it is a northern war, let them slaughter themselves.
We laugh not from happiness but because such utterances cause excruciating ache. We are always on the look-out for any visible emotions, searching for a human race to identify with that will help end this anguish, so that, as if by an invisible hand, this curtain of pain would be pulled away. Reality stares back at us, in the face. We remember, They said it is our war, we must persevere. For how long is always the question.
We think M7 has forgotten us, he is our president but does he really care? We have never gotten an answer to this question, but many have suspicions. It is no secret that his option is the military way. Why, we wonder, is this a solution? Or is the so cleansing madness being practiced