Successful GuluWalk 2006

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(London Children who turned up for this year's GuluWalk 2006).

Tens of thousands of people globally participated in this year’s Gulu Walk, from New York City to London, and others cities around the world.

Gulu Walk is a worldwide march held each year to highlight the suffering of children caught in Uganda’s 20-year civil war.

"It has been a success compared to last year's,” said Juliet Kilpin the organizer of London Gulu Walk. “People were positive and many have been stopping to accept the flyers.”

A Ben Television journalist, Ayoub Mzee could not resist the tears—children here in London who saw footage of film captured from Uganda also wept. “All along I had been thinking that those were just stories but I have now understood,” said Ayoub Mzee,  Ben Television crewmember.

In New York City, a huge crowd assembled for a march at Washington Square part, with Police escort and headed to the United Nations headquarters in Mid-town to deliver the message that “enough is enough” reports Milton Allimadi, publisher of The Black Star News, who joined the March.

New York speakers included Grace Akallo, a former child soldier who now attends college in the U.S., China Keitetsi, author and former child soldier now living in Denmark, and Judith Abe, activist.

Akallo, who has spoken before the U.S. Congress urged parents who attended the march to imagine how they would feel if their own young ones had been abducted as child soldiers or if they had to sleep in the bush. Keitetsi said she was stunned to discover that pets in Denmark are buried in marked graves, yet countless child soldiers had perished in the bush in Uganda. Abe said that as a parent, she could not believe the painful scene of suffering and devastation of Uganda’s children she witnessed on one of her trips back.

New York-based lawyer Ochoro Otunnu urged the marchers not to allow such suffering to continue “during our watch.” He noted that those who came for the New York march shared the great tradition of opposing injustice dating back to segregation in the U.S. and apartheid in South Africa. “Not in our watch,” he declared.

“The key thing is that the conspiracy of silence has now been broken,” notes Allimadi. “The suffering of Uganda’s children has been exposed---children allover the world are helping to end genocide in Uganda.”  He urged marchers to contact editors of major newspapers and ask them why they have not given similar coverage to Uganda’s suffering as has been devoted to Darfur.

New York’s march was coordinated by uNight, led by Daniella Boston, who urged marchers to talk to their neighbors and contact their elected representatives.

Miwambo reports for The Black Star News from London.

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