GULU, 22 November 2011 (IRIN) - Economic and social
recovery in northern Uganda has been slow, despite more than
US$600 million having been spent in foreign aid in the years since
the LRA was active there. According to development agencies
and local communities, many are still living in abject poverty and
in constant fear of a return of the LRA.

"The conflict left a legacy of suffering," said Stephen Oola of the
national NGO, Refugee Law Project. "Despite prevailing peace
today, local communities are losing hope of recovery because
their expectations of post-LRA development projects have not
been fulfilled."

"I don't see any change, it's a life of misery," said Kilama, a
former child soldier with the LRA. "The government needs to
address the effect of the conflict so that people can start to
forget the past."

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

GULU, 22 November 2011 (IRIN) - At 26, Kilama Otto was
abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from his home
in northern Uganda's Nwoya district. After fighting with the
insurgency for nine years, he escaped in 2001 and surrendered to
the Ugandan army.

He now lives with his wife and four children in a simple hut in
Kanyagoga, a suburb of the northern town of Gulu, scraping
together a living as a "boda boda" motorbike taxi driver.

"I don't see any change in me. It's a life of misery with nothing to
do," he told IRIN.

"I used to live in my village, Alero, but I had to come back [to
Gulu] to find work because of the land conflict and stigma at
home, he said.

"My uncle said he couldn't stay with me in the same home
because I am full of blood, that I killed people when I was in the
bush," he added.

Otto said his wife had been taunted by other women in the village
and feared for her life.

"It is so painful to hear this from my own people, yet I did not
want to be in the LRA," he said.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

GULU, 21 November 2011 (IRIN) -
The latest wave of LRA
violence in South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR) and
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has left hundreds of
civilians affected. Peter Maido, an aid worker with the Justice and
Peace Commission in Tombora, in South Sudan's Western
Equatoria state, fled his village of Ezo after surviving recent LRA
attacks in the area.

"We are seeing what nobody has ever experienced in his/her life.
These LRA rebels are more than monster killers. I can't even go
to my village because the rebels are roaming everywhere and
killing whoever they come across; they are roaming in groups of
five to 10 people.

"The killings are so intense but you cannot know when they
happen because the area is so remote with no roads. Sometimes
we get reports of killings after a week.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

October 14, 2011
Associated Press by Mark Smith

President Barack Obama said Friday he is dispatching roughly
100 U.S. troops to central Africa to help battle the Lord's
Resistance Army, which the administration accuses of a
campaign of murder, rape and kidnapping children that spans
two decades.

In a letter to Congress, Obama said the troops will act as
advisers in efforts to hunt down rebel leader Joseph Kony but
will not engage in combat except in self-defense.
The White House said the first troops arrived in Uganda on
Wednesday. Ultimately, they'll also deploy in South Sudan, the
Central African Republic and Congo.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

March 1, 2011 -
The Uganda presidential election was held on Friday, February 18. On Sunday, February 20, the Electoral Commission declared Yoweri Museveni the winner with 68 percent of the vote. Museveni has been president of Uganda for 25 years. Three-time challenger Kizza Besigye took 26 percent of the vote.

The Electoral Commission stated that 59 percent of eligible voters participated in the election.

Besigye continues to challenge the election result

November 13, 2010 -
Hida Jessie Piersma had an interview with WKTV Channel 2's Gary Liberatore on the WKTV Weekend Today show.

October 19, 2010 -
Lanekatuk Memorial, Inc. announces its receipt of tax-exempt status as determined by the IRS. The 501(c)(3) status qualifies Lanekatuk Memorial, Inc. to receive tax-deductible bequests, devises, transfers, or gifts. As a public charity, those that sponsor Lanekatuk Memorial, Inc. can receive a federal tax deduction.

Lanekatuk Memorial, Inc. was founded in 2009 by Ugandan American Hida Jessie Piersma. Piersma, of New Hartford, survived a long and bloody regime under Idi Amin and the LRA rebellion led by
Joseph Kony in her homeland, as well as the murder of her father, Augustino Lanek-Atuk, after whom the organization is named. Piersma has also authored her autobiography, "The Gnawing Thoughts," which details her struggles overcoming obstacles in Uganda, immigrating to Italy, and eventually the United States.

In a recent interview Piersma stated, "My goal is to open a medical clinic and school in my old home in memory of my father. To that end, I have founded Lanekatuk Memorial, Inc. The war in northern
Uganda is considered over, but after nearly 20 years of war and devastation, the Ugandan government is telling people to return to their villages, while in truth there is literally nothing to return home to;
where 20 years ago a village once stood, now there is nothing but bush and rock."

The mission of Lanekatuk Memorial, Inc. is to bring health, education, and social intellectual development to people whose lives were negatively impacted in the war zones of northern Uganda.

The primary aims of the organization are to provide and expand education and healthcare services, practicing sustainable development in these fields throughout northern Uganda.

September 2, 2010 -
Utica College has posted an Alumni Profile about Hida Jessie Piersma on their website. CLICK HERE to view the profile.

August 18, 2010 -
"The Gnawing Thoughts" is now available in Kindle Edition. CLICK HERE for details.

Hida Jessie Piersma was featured in the Utica Observer-Dispatch Lifestyles section on July 24, 2010. CLICK HERE to view the article.

"The Gnawing Thoughts" may be purchased by clicking the "BOOK" button to the left or at the following locations:

Colgate University Book Store
3 Utica Street
Hamilton, New York

Harris Brothers
13 New Hartford Shopping Center
New Hartford, New York
(315) 733-4686

Michael's Jewelers
2012 Genesee Street
Utica, New York
(315) 797-0380

Book Store
located in the Annenberg Building West Lobby (next to Starbucks)
Mount Sinai Medical Center
Manhattan, New York

"The Gnawing Thoughts" is also available at the following libraries:

Clayville Public Library
2265 Oneida St.
Clayville, NY 13322
(315) 839-5893

New Hartford Library
New Hartford, NY
2 Library Lane
New Hartford, NY 13413-2815
(315) 733-1535

Jervis Public Library
Rome, NY
613 N. Washington St.
Rome, NY 13440-4296
(315) 336-4570

Utica College
Office of Career Services
Room 206, Strebel Student Center
1600 Burrstone Rd.
Utica, NY 13502

Utica Public Library
Utica, NY
303 Genesee St.
Utica, NY 13501-3888
(315) 735-2279

Dunham Library
Whitesboro, NY
76 Main St.
Whitesboro, NY 13492
(315) 736-9734

The MidYork Library System
Lanekatuk Memorial, Inc.
Source: IRIN
Source: IRIN
Source: IRIN
Source: AP/Military.Com