TO STOP A WARLORD by Shannon Sedgwick Davis


My Story of Justice, Grace, and the Fight for Peace
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A hard-driving chronicle of a committed group of well-connected do-gooders determined to apprehend the long-terrorizing leader of the violent Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa.

Led by its sadistic leader, Joseph Kony, the LRA sprang up amid the civil war in Uganda in the mid-1980s, and for more than 25 years, it has preyed on vulnerable children to make up its murderous ranks. Inspired by the life of ex–LRA soldier victims like David Ocitti, whose harrowing story of murder and rape alternates between the primary narrative thread, Davis, CEO of the philanthropic organization Bridgeway Foundation, mustered the foundation’s considerable missionary zeal and financial clout to try to take down the elusive Kony. Recognizing that “policy alone wasn’t going to stop the LRA,” especially in “a region that was not a direct national security threat to the United States,” the author and her group resolved to help provide the financial resources to train Ugandan military as well as improve communications among villages in the affected areas. Enlisting the help of Laren Poole, from the Invisible Children movement, Davis corralled a host of formidable participants in her fight—e.g., a notorious Ugandan general; a former covert operative for the special forces in the South African army; and the several hundred Ugandan soldiers selected for the training program who would actually swarm the areas where Kony had last operated. Moreover, there was the financial backing of Muneer Satter, a high-level Goldman Sachs executive, and philanthropist Howard G. Buffett, who provides the foreword. Sadly, despite this incredible endeavor, by the end of the operation in 2015, Kony was still at large. Still, as the author writes, “LRA violence is still minimal compared to the deadliness of the organization pre-mission,” and she succeeds in her hope that the book “will serve as an encouragement to engage more deeply in issues of injustice in the world.”

An uplifting story of an extraordinary effort to support human rights throughout the world.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8129-9592-3
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2019