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We are human beings too

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, March 17, 2005

“We are human beings too.” Those words roll of the tongues of different groups of people enduring all levels of injustice around the entire world. However, when I heard the words come from a young northern Ugandan boy during the documentary “The Invisible Children,” the plea for justice dissipated within the larger call for awareness.

It seemed at the same time to be an assertion and yet still a question. It was as if he was saying, we live in this world with you, we have lives and families, and disproportionate loss and tragedy. But, how can this be if you refuse to see us?

The shattered world of the children fleeing from the Lords Resistance Army rebels and the fate of child soldiers began 17 years ago, yet rages on unchecked by international pressure. Real, live human beings just like us, are watching their families die, they are starving and then training to be killers themselves.

At the same time, in Sudan, the United Nations estimates that 180,000 people have died as the result of genocide, and gross human rights offenses continue despite growing media coverage in the West. And while the United Nations attempts to reach peace settlements with rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the scars of violence there are some of the most gruesome in the regions bloody history. The statement, “we are human beings too,” is simple, but carries immense weight.

Africa is a place too. The invisible children live on an invisible continent, and its time for private citizens – if not the U.S. government – to take notice.