Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life is cheap

That is, to some, apparently. This morning a small group of people
made their way through the forest on foot to take their corn to town
to get it ground into flour. On the way, they were ambushed by Turkana
cattle-thieves. A gunman jumped out from behind a termite mound only
15 feet away and shot two men to death, one Ik and one Dodoth. A third
Ik man ran back to our village to report the incident, and the women
ran ahead and escaped. The only demonstrable reason for the murder was
to steal the little corn the people were carrying. However, these bush
warriors are also known to kill for sport, because they can, with
impunity. There is just something wrong with the world when a man will
shoot another man through the throat for a few meals of maize.

Much of this violence could be stopped, but someone is profiting from
it all. 'Peace-building' is big business in this area. You can get big
bucks to hold 'peace talks' where everyone gathers for eloquent
speeches, cultural dances, and a feast. Meanwhile, the real criminals
are still in the bush, preparing or executing their next raid (see my
March blog post called 'Peace talks'). Despite the continuing
violence, things are better now than they used to be. The Iks'
neighbors used to have more guns. And nowadays the Ik have cell phones
which they use to communicate with each other and with the armed
forces. I can only imagine the fear and helplessness these people have
lived with for so many years. Imagine the possibility of being shot
and killed on your drive to the grocery store on any given day. What
if that was part of your daily reality?

Please join us in saying a prayer for justice for this entire region.
The further development of the Ik and Karimojong societies is being
hindered and retarded by unpunished acts of violence. We know that
real, lasting peace is not possible as long as human hearts are
wicked, but we also know that something more can be done.

2 comments:

Notinthewild said...

Very sobering and sad. I wonder who is making money from the 'peace talks'? NGO's? The locals?

Terrill and Amber Schrock said...

Definitely 'peace-keeping' NGO's but also certain Ugandans. The local poor are not benefiting but suffering. Let's just say that the rich stay rich while the poor stay poor.