Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It's not even in America, but in Africa.

These people have been under attack by maniacs from a outfit called the 'lord's resistance army' that are typically terrible for Africa.

These people, knowing their own government wasn't going to protect them handled the job themselves.

Those are shotguns they built themselves.  Raggedy dirt poor people armed themselves.  And showed the will to fight back.

Sure beats most 'murikans...

African Village Uses Tech to Fight Off Rape Cult

An old woman had died. Before burying the her, the residents of the village of Obo — in southern Central African Republic, just north of the Congolese border — gathered around a campfire to eat, drink, cry and sing in celebration of the woman’s long life. It was a night in March 2008, just another beat in the slow rhythm of existence in this farming community of 13,000 people.

Then the dreadlocked fighters from the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group — tongo-tongo, the villagers call them — rose from their hiding places in the shadows and advanced toward the fire. Others blocked the paths leading from town. The rebels killed anyone who resisted, kidnapped 100 others and robbed everyone in sight.

The LRA forced the captured men and women to carry stolen goods into the jungle before releasing them. Boys and girls, they kept. The boys would be brainwashed, trained as fighters and forced to kill. The girls would be given to LRA officers as trophies, raped and made to bear children who would represent the next generation of LRA foot soldiers.

The gang released the adults. Boys and girls, they kept.
It was a familiar tragedy, repeated countless times across Central Africa since firebrand Christian cultist Joseph Kony created the LRA in the mid-1980s, aiming to establish a sort of voodoo theocracy in northern Uganda. Defeated in its home country, in 2005 the LRA fled westward across Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic, looting, raping, killing and mutilating as it went.

Obo was just one of hundreds of communities terrorized by the LRA. Many simply wither and die afterward.
But Obo didn’t.

Instead, Obo’s surviving villagers raised their own volunteer scout force (depicted above), armed it with homemade shotguns, and began disseminating intelligence on the LRA’s movements using the village’s sole, short-range FM radio transmitter.

The results of this do-it-yourself approach were encouraging. Since the attack three years ago, Obo has not suffered another major LRA invasion. Noting Obo’s successful strategy, Invisible Children, a California-based aid group, in March traveled into Central African Republic to help another American group, Interactive Radio for Justice, upgrade the town’s radio to a much longer-range model, further boosting the community’s self-defense capability.

Invisible Children’s goal is to increase by 30 times the area the town could keep on alert, while also plugging Obo into a radio-based “early warning network” that Invisible Children has been building in Congo since last year. The network of high frequency and FM radios allows communities across the LRA-infested region to share intelligence and warn each other of impending rebel attacks.

How the people of Obo have guarded their town, and the role American humanitarians played in their success, represents a possible vision for grassroots security in a region that has long defied large-scale armed intervention.

But there’s a downside to DIY security. In arming itself and taking on intelligence tasks, Obo is essentially giving up on ever receiving help from Central African Republic’s impoverished government. That can only further undermine the government’s tenuous legitimacy — and could fuel wider instability in the future.

“We Are Not Afraid … “

Marleine Solange Yagasaurma was only 16 years old when the LRA kidnapped her in Obo that night three years ago. She was given to a cruel, one-eyed rebel commander who raped and impregnated her. She gave birth to a baby girl. For two years, she trudged through the forest with her child, moving from temporary camp to temporary camp as the LRA tried to stay a step ahead of its pursuers.

“My idea was to escape during an attack, during a raid on a village,” Yagasaurma told journalist Joe Bavier. She and another LRA “bride” got their chance last fall, when the Ugandan army ambushed their group’s camp in the night. “I said to the other girl that now was the time to escape,” Yagasaurma recalled. “We were right next to the village. So we ran. I had my baby with me.”

She reached the safety of the nearby village. Later, a Ugandan airplane transported her back to Obo. She might not have recognized her hometown. In 2008, Obo was defenseless against LRA attack. The Obo Yagasaurma returned to in late 2010 had become a vigilant, armed camp.

The morning after the LRA’s March 2008 attack, the sun rose on a transformed community. Before, the tongo-tongo had been able to terrorize an entire village, kill scores of people and take more than 100 prisoners using just their machetes. During the 2008 raid, the LRA reportedly didn’t fire a single bullet.
After the attack, the surviving villagers were determined to never again be defenseless. “We are not afraid,” an Obo resident named Joseph told Invisible Children’s Adam Finck. “We are not afraid because we are the victims. They attacked us. They took our children. They killed others of us. That motivates us not to be afraid of them.”

More than 200 men volunteered for scout duty, forming five platoons. “These ad-hoc groupings of young and old men from town patrol in the mornings and evenings, successfully … keeping a safe perimeter around Obo,” Finck reported after a trip to Obo in March.

But the men of Obo knew they needed more than courage and manpower. Too poor for military-grade weapons or even the kind of firearms American hunters take for granted, Obo set about building an arsenal of homemade, single-barrel shotguns loaded with hand-packed shells.

And to relay intelligence gathered by the scouts on their twice-daily patrols, Obo’s only radio DJ, a young man named Arthur, donated air time on his short-range FM transmitter. Between music sets, Arthur repeated information on LR movements gathered by the scouts, giving the few thousand Obo residents within range of his radio time to flee when the rebels approached.

But Arthur’s radio covered an area of just three square kilometers, reaching only a small percentage of Obo’s 13,000 residents, many of whom live in huts adjacent to their fields, miles from the town center.

The scouts-and-radio strategy was, in principle, sound. The problem was its scale. “To be able to really reach people living in Obo and outside, you really have to boost that capacity,” Finck explained. A modern FM radio would have 30 times the coverage area of Obo’s existing system.

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