From The Killing Fields To The Boxing Ring One Man’s Journey ………………

From The Killing Fields To The Boxing Ring One Man’s Journey

There are few stories that I’ve read about certain athletes that I’ve come across recently that’ve got me actually gut wrenched because of the severity of that athlete’s life. And such was the case with boxing’s newest world champion in the guise of Kassim ‘The Dream’ Ouma. This Ugandan native, was a former child soldier in the land of his birth. And if you’re aware of the war torn strife that has taken place in Central Africa over the last twenty five years. Then you’ll know to an extent as to what I’m speaking of. You might think that ‘The Killing Fields of Cambodia’ may well have seen some of the worst atrocities in recent living memory. But you’d be sadly mistaken in that context.

Kassim 'The Dream' Ouma, former  child soldier and assassin in the  Ugandan  army. Now a   world  class  boxer.   picture  appears   courtesy  of  boxnews.com/ photo/ Rick Kelly ................        @ copyrighted  material       All   rights  reserved .........
Kassim 'The Dream' Ouma, former child soldier and assassin in the Ugandan army. Now a world class boxer. picture appears courtesy of boxnews.com/ photo/ Rick Kelly ................ @ copyrighted material All rights reserved .........

In the Democratic Republic of Congo(formerly Zaire), the estimates are, that in excess of 5 million (5,000,000) people have died in the last decade alone. And on the continent of Africa alone, in excess of 18,500,000 lives have been lost to war torn strife. From the Western region of Darfur, in the Sudan– northwards, parts of the African continent has essentially become a region of mayhem. And as of today, there’s over 4,500,000 displaced refugees alone in the Sudan. That’s equivalent of just under one third of the population of the state of Florida.

A  Sudanese  child  stands  in the  midst  of  a Darfur refugee  camp  for  misplaced  Sudanese  refugees.     picture  appears   courtesy  of  AFP/ Reuters/    Alexander  Richardson  .....
A Sudanese child stands in the midst of a Darfur refugee camp for misplaced Sudanese refugees. picture appears courtesy of AFP/ Reuters/ Alexander Richardson .....

Ouma, who recently became the light middleweight champion of the world, is now looking to cement his legacy in the latest in a long line of celebrated African boxers. Perhaps the best known of them all may well have been Azumah Nelson , a three time world champion in three different weight categories. But if anything, it has been Ouma’s ascendancy up the ranks of boxing and his path there from his youth in the capitol city of Kampala,Uganda, may well be indicative of this young man’s mindset. The horrors that he witnessed and no doubt was a part of as a boy soldier, carries with it the scars that absolutely no one would want to relive. But there are times that the human resolve has to be tested . And when you’re a juvenile being placed in a position of such undeniable horror. And then asked to carry out such atrocities as murder and then later on in his life as an almost adult soldier, rape.Then, there’s not really much that one can really do in such instance. You either had to obey or be killed , yourself. What other choice would be have had ?

Courtesy of USA Today

Kassim The Dream And His Nightmare

By Reid Cherner & Tom Weir

Many boxers come from a hardscrabble upbringing.
Few of those biographies include being kidnapped as a 6-year-old and trained to be an assassin.

Before escaping to the United States, and becoming junior middleweight champion of the world, Kassim Ouma was committing atrocities for the Ugandan Army.

1ablog-kassim The award-winning documentary, Kassim The Dream, began showing Wednesday on Sundance Selects, available on Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner.

“While he may not be the best boxer out there I don’t think anyone comes close to having his story,” said director Kief Davidson.

The film, which mixes comedy with tragedy, traces Ouma’s boxing career along with his fight to receive a pardon in Uganda so he could visit his father’s grave.

“He was very much a Jekyll and Hyde like character,” said Davidson, who would eventually accompany the boxer back to Uganda. “By and large he goes through the day, at least on the surface, a pretty happy guy. He’s very social, he interacts with everyone he possible can interact with. Then there is that other side to him that is quite dark because he is suppressing a lot of what happened to him as a child.”

Davidson talked to Game On! about his documentary.

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The unfettered  bodies  of  a  mass  genocide  attack  on a  small   village  in the  country  of  Uganda  .  As  you  can  see  the  victims  range  in  age   and  sex.  Seemingly  no  one  is  able to escape the  wrath  of  the attack  of what  are  in  some cases   government  sanctioned  atrocities  .  All   carried  out  while many  of  the  West's   most  democratic  nations  in  some  way   continue  to  support  the  government  of  President  Yoweri  Museveni   ,  a  known   war  criminal.         picture appears   courtesy of  AFP/Reuters /   Marshall    Boyd   ...................
The unfettered bodies of a mass genocide attack on a small village in the country of Uganda . As you can see the victims range in age and sex. Seemingly no one is able to escape the wrath of the attack of what are in some cases government sanctioned atrocities . All carried out while many of the West's most democratic nations in some way continue to support the government of President Yoweri Museveni , a known war criminal. picture appears courtesy of AFP/Reuters / Marshall Boyd ...................

It has been Ouma’s path back from being a member of the Ugandan army as a child assassin,committing such unwarranted and unspeakable atrocities, to the seemingly the respectability of being a world class boxer in the ring. That his story on the face of it seems all so improbable to begin with. But then so too have been other such stories that I doubt, ones with such ramifications, as that of Kassim Ouma’s. You could think that a story , in origin alone could only have been scripted by a writer in Hollywood ? But there have been other stories such as this that have been part of the world’s stage for decades. Some have been widely reported whilst others have gone unreported.

Ouma’s ascent to the top flight of boxing hasn’t been an easy one and along the way having fought for a number of titles at the light middleweight as well as within the middleweight divisions. He’s not lost any of the enthusiasm for the sport. A sport, that with all of its controlled violence must seem like a complete role reversal to the type of violence that he’d no doubt have participated in as a soldier, in his war torn native homeland. One begs the question in light of this. Ouma’s acts may well have been so horrific and damning, albeit that he was forced into such a situation as a child. But what does it to suggest to us , when governments in the West continue to support the country of Uganda, given the atrocities being perpetrated by the country’s President Yoweri Museveni and his regime ? No exact figure can be approximated as to the number of deaths that’ve taken place there under his regime. But suffice to say, that it has to run into the hundreds of thousands , since his installment as the country’s de-facto democratic President, under the guise of democracy, which in essence has been nothing more than government sanctioned terrorism of its populace. Well , at least to those who seek to oppose Museveni’s rule.

Ugandan  President Yoweri Museveni  inspects  a  guard  of   honor  upon his  arrival  in  the  Chinese  capitol of  Biejing, in China.  Yoweri Museveni is in Beijing for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which is was held  in  November   2006.   China  with  its  growing  influence  in  the  region  has   courted   Museveni as  well as  several  other  political  leaders  on  the  African  continent.  However,  while  criticism   is  raised at  China  and  its   growing  influence  in the  region.  What  can't   be  lost  ,  is  the  fact  that   Western  countries   still  provides well  over   75 %  of the  foreign  aid  to   regimes   such  as  Museveni  and    Omar Ali   Bashir   in   the  Sudan.    Quaint  isn't  it ?    picture  appears   courtesy  of   Xinhua  News Agency -China
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni inspects a guard of honor upon his arrival in the Chinese capitol of Biejing, in China. Yoweri Museveni is in Beijing for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which is was held in November 2006. China with its growing influence in the region has courted Museveni as well as several other political leaders on the African continent. However, while criticism is raised at China and its growing influence in the region. What can't be lost , is the fact that Western countries still provides well over 75 % of the foreign aid to regimes such as Museveni and Omar Ali Bashir in the Sudan. Quaint isn't it ? picture appears courtesy of Xinhua News Agency -China

And while Ouma can now celebrate his acclaim, wealth and a certain amount of notoriety. It does leave one asking if he can be now afforded such prosperity and residence at the hands of his now new homeland. What if anything can be done to bring to light what is still happening in his homeland ? Ouma , himself, has shown a great deal of remorse for many of the heinous and barbaric acts that he was forced to do. But on the face of it, can we look at this as some form of justice ? Many of us may have differing views on the subject matter . I for one just wanted to bring it to the readers’ attention. Not every story about an athlete at times, is a pleasant one,filled with feelgood anecdotes and episodes of comedic value. And it certainly hasn’t been the case here,for Kassim Ouma.

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What thoughts if any do you have on this particular subject matter ? Your comments will be duly noted and replied to. Thanks in large part for reading and of course for your continued support of my work. As always , it’s greatly appreciated !

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

20 thoughts on “From The Killing Fields To The Boxing Ring One Man’s Journey ………………”

  1. What is he doing to repay back the atrocities he committed in his home country of Uganda. He is hailed as a champ yet he killed any innocent people. This sad. Only God can deal with him. I hope he has repented and asked the Lord for forgiveness.

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  2. Bobby Gee

    That’s the sickening thing about this story to an extent. OK so as a child he was forced in subservience and became essentially an assassin for the Ugandan army. But how heinous is that after all of this, he is as such treated with such acclaim ? That being said they were Nazi war criminals brought here by the US at the end of WWII to assist in certain scientific experiments. So what ought we to think about them also ?

    It’s never about the innocent victims at the end of the day now is it ? It tends to be about the perpetrators and whether or not they can in some way be rehabilitated and be made to serve society for the better at the end of the day. There’s something inherently wrong here all the way around, don’t you think ?

    Alan Parkins

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    1. chappy 81

      When you’re a kid and you’re forced to commit such heinous acts by an an army. Wherein if you refuse to , they end up killing your family. What real choices have you got from the outset ? That’s unless you choose to turn the weapon on yourself ?

      This sort of thing is now going on in certain parts of Africa and the rest of the world tends to turn a blind eye to it all.

      Alan Parkins

      Like

  3. Yes I do. In our day and age is more about the perp than it is about the victim. The clown is a hero and in this world his sins go unpunished. The Bible is very clear about what will happen to him. Not my words but Gods.

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    1. Bobby Gee

      The Bible does it not allow us to be atone for our sins by repenting praying for forgiveness ? So what’d you make of those Roman Catholic priest who were allowed to roam free across numerous dioceses raping and sexually assaulting young boys and females ? It all becomes mute doesn’t it when allegedly God’s so called representative on earth as in the Roman Catholic church essentially has not only condoned such acts by moving those priest about and in certain cases promoting them but also covering up their heinous crimes . Religion in some cases can’t atone for such things at all. It’s merely being used a crutch for a subject matter that is abhorrent to begin with. No one wants to be held accountable for their actions in this day and age . From our legislators to even certain sports stars and celebrities. But yet here we have the pious holier than thou US trying to lead the world as a moral standard bearer . When the country itself in essence is no better than those it too often decries and denounces for their actions.

      And please don’t use the argument that no lives were lost by their (priest’s) acts. Sexually abusing any child at a tender age, scars them for life and in large part leaves them psychologically damaged for the rest of their lives .

      Alan Parkins

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  4. Hey Al,
    In a world where there is such inhumanity, how can any of us pass judgement in this young man’s circumstance? With repentence there is forgiveness. God is love.
    Peace to you my friend.

    Like

    1. aero

      Inhumanity or not there at times where one has to wonder what is the actual meaning of the word ‘inhumanity’ and that of the word ‘humanity’, itself. Ouma’s actions as a child speaks for itself but at the same time , I’d like to know what he , himself, has done by way of relieving the pain and suffering of those, whom he no doubt put his victims through.
      He’s now being lauded as world class fighter but somewhere back in his native Uganda there in ruins lies the lives of countless victims and survivors. And all of this done no doubt by him under duress in support of an evil despot like Museveni .

      One has to bear in mind also this is the same individual that Obama’s predecessor , George W Bush, sat down with and lauded as a beacon of light on the African continent in terms of democracy. Now tell me what is that Bush couldn’t see at the time that the rest of the world could ? The genocide that was going on in Uganda , has been there for the last decade at least. And we’re to believe that the West in part has or can’t do anything about it , at all ? They’re still supporting the likes of Museveni and Omar Ali Bashir in the Sudan. They’re only using the crux of Islamic fundamentalism as a mask to behind, while turning their backs on the suffering that’s taking place. Much as they did when apartheid was in full force in South Africa and then the famines in Ethiopia of the eighties.

      Alan Parkins

      Like

  5. Great read…sad story. How many were killed and still being killed all over Africa. Uganda has always been full of strife even before the monster Idi Amin, same for other countries on the continent. Tribal “warfare” has always been a way of life fro Africans…both the blacks and the Arabs…..since the beginning of time…only thing is the colonization by the various “civilized” nations gave them firearms and other means of mass destruction to visit upon tribal enemies.
    It was the same amongst the “civilized” nations…how can one expect more from the “modern” Africans. Deep seated hatred amongst the black Africans has always existed….even amongst the Arabic Africans…then look at the “whites” of the “Civilized” nations……the whole populace of GErmany ignored the slaughter of how many “Jews”? How many Russians ignored the “purge” (read slaughter) of how many ethnic races that were in disfavor of Stalin? We, the English and other “civilized” natins ignored this in order to defeat Germany……..then we complain about ONE person??? GOD will deal with him……”Judge not, less you be judged” is a good “rule” to follow…..I wonder how many of us “civilized WHITE people” would have coped if kidnapped as a child and trained to kill, maim, rape “enemies of the state”. Probably the same as this person………..Ah well, be thankful we live in a “Civilized” country. Al Clements

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    1. al clements

      What’s happening in Uganda and Sudan has nothing to do with tyranny whatsoever ! It’s all about ethnic cleansing. We all judge in our own way and using the bible as some form of relief adds nothing but insult to injury !

      Tell me how is that God’s so called representatives on this earth , by way of the Roman Catholic church and its priests elicited and inflicted so much pain(sexual abuse scandal) and suffering on the lives of so many young men and women and then hid behind their religion ? All the while, the bishops and cardinals simply moved the perpetrators from one diocese to the next ? How’d you account for that then ?

      Alan Parkins

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  6. Ain’t that what I said? The various tribes of Africa fought each other, because they were DIFFERENT? Battled over land, food…whatever. History is replete with stories of this nature. The old Hebrews killed Arabs and took their land….God’s will…God’s chosen. Course the Arabs fought back (even unto today). Our American Indians did the same…..Our civilized nations of France, England and Spain did the same.
    The Greeks, Romans, etal “cleansed” what they conquered. Guess whomever is in power have the “right” to do this…..we do this here in the USA too…..The Democrats go after the Republicans when in power and vice versa. Maybe we should give the Senators and Representatives guns and knives to battle it out…might be betterthan what we now have LOL
    Anyhow….I said that….you know that…Amin attacked and killed those not of his heritage….Hussein of Irag did the same…gassed the Kurds…whole villages wiped out….look at the Serbs, Albanians, Macedonians….man this world is a mess.

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    1. al clements

      The idiocy that is replete here , doesn’t have us now going out and killing off an opponent or raping their mothers and children. But what we have are a bunch of crazed loons who in essence have no idea as to how best to solve the nation’s problems. But they merely put themselves out there squawk boxes for the idiots on both sides of the political aisle. The less of the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, O’Reilly , Beck Savage , Dobbs, Scarborough and others of that ilk. The better off the country would be.

      I served in Eritrea with a UN peacekeeping force and much of what I witnessed was sheer and utter mayhem. And all of this was being done at the behest of opposing factions.

      Now let me ask you a question how is it that the US views terrorism as an utter evil ? But yet when the British were fighting the IRA , you welcomed the likes of Gerry Adams and Sean McGuinnes quite openly. Given the fact that they represented in the IRA and they were allowed be feted by members of Congress and then at the same time allowed to raise money to send back to Ireland kill many of my comrades,as well as numerous innocent victims(men , women and children). Who I’d served alongside there in Ireland, during the early eighties.

      How is that the US tries to act as if it is some paragon of virtue and beacon of light ? When in fact it is no different from the enemy opponent it’s said to despise. All of this so called jingoism and xenophobia will come back to haunt this country in more ways than it cares to know.

      Throwing up history counts absolutely nothing , when you choose to ignore those lessons from the past. And that’s what is happening at this very moment.

      There are idiots talking about unfinished business in Iraq and Afghanistan. What the fuck was the original premise and plan to begin with ? If it was to capture Bin Laden , then where is he ? And the invading of Iraq , what has that proven ? You’re going to spread democracy to a nation who hasn’t known it in decades ? And at the same time they seemingly want no part of it to begin with. The country is plowing money into a bottomless pit with absolutely nothing tangible to show for it.

      Men who choose to go to war for the most innocuous of reasons, well they tend to be the ones who more often than not aren’t on the front line to begin with. They’re the ones who in the end who tend to be profiting from the mayhem and catastrophe that ensues.

      The US can’t police the world but yet it believes that it has a divine right to do so. And at what cost to its populace and its own identity ? Explain that to me ?

      You make a valid point about ethnic cleansing. But wasn’t the same thing being done here in the US , in the name of so called ‘freedom’ ? I doubt that the slaves and Native Americans were appreciative of that to begin with !

      Alan Parkins

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    1. Chris Humpherys

      I told you it’d be something of an eye opener didn’t I ?

      Now in essence, here’s someone who’s been given a second chance to do good. Albeit, that his crimes may well have been some of the most heinous atrocities committed , or imaginable for one human being to place upon another.

      There are thousands of stories likes this to be told . Many of them already have been in some form or another. ‘Blood Diamonds’ is a prime example of this !

      Alan Parkins

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  7. In response…The US of A is totally, absolutely wrong! Has been since the Eisenhower era when he authorized advisors sent to Vietnam, while not “supporting” the French…they did want to stop Ho and his comades….All Ho wanted was to throw out the French…they did promise to leave if only Ho and his guerillas would assist in defeating the Japanese Imperial Army. The British signed onto this agreement and the USA gave tacit approval if not signing on the dotted line. We all know now that after WWII, France said nope, we ain’t leaving. Ho appealed to the British who said “huh?” Then he appealed to the USA (who could have basically “made” France leave)..we did still have some power. Ah well we turned our backs…so Ho went to the Russians and the Chinese…we know the rest of the story,
    As to the problems in the “Old Sod”, it goes way back to when the British Parliament disenfranchised the Catholic landowners and thos Catholics who actually owned their plots of land….since these people and their country refused to convert to the Church of England and all that, Catholics were oppressed, including arrest, imprisonment, beheading, hanging etc. At some point the IRA was formed and fought til there was an independent Irish Free State (Eire). This country refused to fight in WWI, almost allied with Germany cause of their hatred for England. The island was thus divided and the IRA continued to fight for reunification. It wound up being a battle between the Protestants and the Catholics….the Protestants were some descendants of the original British oppressors…..since this part of Ireland still belonged to Great Britain, “peacekeepers” were sent…eventually.
    Well, we now know what happened….it only got worse, all kinds of astrocities on both sides…..Course the US of A took a “hands off stance”….officially…but behind the scenes…..
    Same old BS the USA has been doing for years under their agenda of Democracy, Human Rights, etc. etc. Had they actually NOT tried to keep peace or found another way to help who knows, 9/11 may not have happened. I make waves when I say this, but some of the things that have happened to the USA are the result of our meddling beyond our borders…the excuse being keeping the world safe from Communism…….anyhow we see the results of empire building by all concerned…some good, some bad…..very bad.
    I am tired of “our” boys and girls being maimed and killed in the name of Democracy….course the opposing forces calls it DEMON cracy. Gotta quit now before some guys blow up my computer.

    Like

    1. al clements

      Other than that and the cluster fu_k that was Vietnam what has US done in order to stabilize geo political aspirations ? Mere bunkum with regard to Eisenhower. Thereafter successive administrations have ran roughshod over others dictating other countries internal and external policies. It’s pseudo crap politics of the highest order.

      America says it strives for peace in the Middle East but it pis_es on its closes ally in the region Crown Prince Abdullah who has bent over backwards to deal on the US’s behalf in dealing with the Palestinians. Each year this country gives Israel $8 billion in aid and military armorments and gets absolutely nothing in return. And you wonder why it is that there’s a belief that US foreign policy in the region is skewered ?
      The US has never had a consistent foreign policy on anything . It merely uses the only asinine thing it knows and that’s either brute force or the idea that in getting in dissent in those countries it feels that aren’t of a friendly nature . And then look to see what transpires afterwards. Less you forget the Taliban and Al Qaeda were at one time working at the US’s behest in Afghanistan until they were abandoned.

      Empire building on the grandest scale only profits those in the know economically . And as always in the end those empires end up crumbling around themselves. All of them without fail !

      And with regard to the Irish situation, I’m well aware as to what transpired. You however failed to answer my question concerning McGuiness and Adams. Why show support for them when they were essentially raising money to be used for terrorist activities ? Were it in the here and now and their name Arabic in origin there’d be public outcry. But no , not then they were viewed as freedom fighters ? The US has a real identity crisis when it comes to what it views as being morally right and what is morally wrong by a long margin.

      Alan Parkins

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    1. How can we talk about democracy when it’s simply fact that the colonial rule within Africa has made that situation now almost impossible ? Some countries have gravitated towards some semblance of democracy but clearly it’s going to be gradual .

      tophatal …………..

      Like

  8. The west depends on Africa for their mainstay-resources,etc, yet african live in poverty. The cause is not far fetch;bad and autocratic leadership that has ripped africa of her wealth. unless african address this issue, it might remain were it is now in the decades.

    Like

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