The following was written by Dee Allimadi. Dee is a Ugandan living in exile in London and she recently attended A Brilliant Genocide‘s U.K Premiere at the Raindance Film Festival. This is what Allimadi had to say after seeing our film:
‘The hammering on the door continued and by this time Aparu was on the floor with her head in her hands rocking back and forth like a patient in a mental asylum. She lamented in her native Acholi, ‘lubanga na’, ‘lubanga na’ (my God, my God). Lanyero quietly prayed that it was government soldiers and not the LRA rebels. With government soldiers their fate might be rape, torture and either killing on the spot or huddled into “protective camps”. Your fate would be decided very quickly but with the rebels, abduction was a virtual certainty. The rape and torture would become part and parcel of your life.’ (Excerpt from ‘Abducted‘ by Doris Allimadi).
D. Allimadi Cont:
‘This was the life in Acholi Land following Museveni’s ‘liberation’ of Uganda in 1986 and promise of fundamental change. Homesteads were regularly attacked by both rebels and government troops, young men and women abducted and food stolen. Whilst the rest of Uganda begun to somewhat prosper, Gulu and other parts of North Uganda were left to languish in absolute poverty.
On 30th September, I had the privilege of watching the very harrowing and heart-breaking docu-film, A Brilliant Genocide directed and produced by the very talented film maker, Ebony Butler. Ms Butler spent many years researching and corroborating her findings before making this docu-film.
The docu-film had a very balanced and extensively researched view of the atrocities in Gulu and North Uganda with contributions by Milton Allimadi, Editor and Publisher at Blackstarnews, former ambassador and UN Special Representative Olara Otunnu, Adam Branch, a professor at Cambridge University and Vincent Magombe, a journalist.
When one thinks of the atrocities perpetrated against the Acholi people, the name Joseph Kony immediately springs to mind. Kony and his LRA were responsible for countless abductions, killing, maiming and displacing families in Gulu and other parts of North Uganda. Abducted children were forced to become rebels, turning on their own families, friends and neighbours, or child brides with objections leading to repercussions. Whilst Kony’s actions were deplorable, inexcusable and indefensible, A Brilliant Genocide tells us that his crimes are only but a tip of the iceberg. Thousands of Acholi’s in fact perished at the hands of Museveni’s planned and systematic silent genocide whilst the rest of Uganda and the international community turned a blind eye. According to Olara Otunnu, there was a conspiracy of silence.
How could they have not known? The nightmare in the North of Uganda was well documented. Women and men were raped, sometimes brutally gang raped and deliberately infected with HIV/Aids, murdered in cold blood, forced into ‘protective camps’ where they starved to death and according to the WHO, about 1000 people a week died from treatable and preventable disease.
The docu-film was hard to watch. To see such grave suffering of innocent people, especially children and pregnant women. Harder still, because some of the witnesses were in the audience and were given the opportunity to speak to us afterwards. The scars were still visible in their voices, so to speak.
Why is the world still silent?
Friends of Acholis and Uganda, end the silence. Hear the cries of the mother who has lost her own, the father stripped of all dignity and the child robbed of its innocence.
A Brilliant Genocide exposes the extent of murderous intent of Museveni towards the Acholi, whom he has previously, allegedly referred to as biological substances. Witness statements reveal that people were put into mass graves, covered with earth and set on fire, that villages were attacked and citizens shot at will and yet, no one said a word. There was no condemnation from the international community, not even from our closest neighbours and friends Kenya and Tanzania. The sun rose and set whilst blood of the Acholi’s run free.’
The next screening of A Brilliant Genocide will be on October 21 at the Document International Human Rights Film Festival in Glasgow, followed by an expert panel and key note address and also on October 22nd and 23rd at the 36th Cambridge International Film Festival.
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