Truman National Security Project hosted the screening of “My Star in the Sky” (Lakalatwe in the Acholi language) on Oct. 29, 2019, at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Lobo Institute produced, directed and created the documentary My Star in the Sky — which in the Acholi language is “Lakalatwe”. This documentary depicts a story of survival and love between two child soldiers, Anthony and Florence Opoka. Both were abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army, an insurgent group against the government of Uganda. Anthony became Joseph Kony‘s radio operator. They eventually escaped together after more then ten years and become pivotal in the effect to end the insurgency and help rehabilitate the soldiers back into society.
The United States became involved in efforts to combat the LRA in 2008, and in 2010 President Barack Obama signed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act to end the insurgency and bring its leader, Joseph Kony, to justice via the standing of the International Criminal Court.
Truman member and Lobo Institute Advisor Zack Baddorf facilitated the panel and discussion. Zack works on national security communications issues in DC. He reported for the New York Times, AP and others on the Lord’s Resistance Army while living and working in the Central African Republic in 2017. He also led a three-month research effort on sexual violence by armed groups in the country for a human rights organization.
The panelists included:
- Michael ‘Mick’ Mulroy: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, US Department of Defense. Retired CIA. He is a Board member of Grassroots Reconciliation Group.
- Darren Duke: Commissioned in 1991, he serves as a Marine Corps colonel as Deputy Director of Operations for Plans, Policies and Operations at Marine Corps Headquarters in DC. He proviously commanded the DOD’s Observant Compass mission that was responsible for fighting the LRA.
- Chidi Blyden: Staff Member on the House Committee on Armed Services with extensive experience on Africa’s security and development sectors, including for OSD.
- Sasha Lezhnev: Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project. He is the founding Director of Grassroots Reconciliation Group. Previously he worked for Global Witness, International Crisis Group, and USAID.