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Documentaries show child soldiers in Africa

PORTSMOUTH —Two powerful documentaries by Invisible Children Inc. are scheduled at Shawnee State University in the Flohr Lecture Hall to celebrate International Education Week. Both documentaries are free and open to the public.

In the spring of 2003, three young Americans from California left in search of a story in Uganda. What they found was a tragedy that disgusted and inspired them. To see Africa through young eyes is funny, heartbreaking and informative.

Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity.

The first film, “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” will be shown at 9 p.m. on Monday. This is the first film Invisible Children made when they first visited Uganda in 2003 to introduce the problems of children being kidnapped and forced to join the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

The LRA has been accused of mass murder, rape and kidnapping and has spread to other nearby countries as well.

Koney is wanted by the International Criminal Court to face criminal charges. At least 30,000 people died and some two million people were displaced as the LRA spread terror in northern Uganda for more than 20 years.

It is notorious for kidnapping children, forcing the boys to become fighters and using girls as sex slaves. The United States considers the group a terrorist organization.

The second film will be shown on Sunday, Nov. 20, and several people involved with Invisible Children will be visiting Shawnee State to present the latest film, “Tony” about a young boy who was kidnapped by the LRA. A young Uganda woman will be at SSU with the Invisible Children relating her experience with the LRA.

The organization launched the new Frontline Fundraising Campaign this past week that is trying to raise money to set up warning towers in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Uganda to warn people in LRA-affected communities and rehabilitate children who have been rescued from the LRA, among other initiatives.lasting peace.

President Obama announced in October that he is sending about 100 U.S. soldiers to Uganda to help regional forces battle the notorious LRA and work toward the removal of Kony from the battlefield.