BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Monday, 5 August, 2002, 23:49 GMT 00:49 UK
Resistance Army's campaign of terror
Ugandan children
The LRA relies on the abduction of children

The fighting that has driven thousands of refugees out of a camp in Northern Uganda is only the most recent attack carried out by the Lord's Resistance Army.

The origins of the clash between the Ugandan authorities and the Lord's Resistance Army go back a long way.

During the British colonial period, southerners were mostly employed in the civil service, while northerners were mostly recruited as soldiers.

The Acholi in particular became the backbone of the army. And after independence in 1962 the army played a critical role in the governments of Milton Obote, Idi Amin and Tito Okello.

Terrible atrocities were committed in the south and centre of the country.

When Yoweri Museveni took power in 1986 his forces took their revenge on the Acholi.

Retreat

Some soldiers retreated north, and took refuge among the Acholi of southern Sudan.

Many joined rebel movements. One of the rebel units - the Holy Spirit Mobile Force - was led by a self-styled prophetess, Alice Lakwena.
Idi Amin
The army played a critical role in Idi Amin's government

Her soldiers used oil as a protection, believing it turned bullets to water.

After Lakwena was defeated most surrendered, but a few remained in the bush, under the leadership of Joseph Kony, a young relative of Lakewena's.

This formed the nucleus of the Lord's Resistance Army, and has managed to survive repeated government attempts to stamp it out.

Sudanese backing

Until recently, the Sudanese Government backed the LRA and provided them with weapons and ammunition.

The LRA has relied on the abduction of children, and has managed to conduct a widespread campaign of terror across much of northern Uganda.

To ensure that his recruits do not escape, Kony is reported to have them killed in the most cruel manner, mutilating them over a number of days.

In recent months, the Ugandan Government has failed to make much progress against the LRA, and President Museveni has now taken direct control of the operations against the rebels.

But many believe that only peace talks will end the fighting.


Key stories

Background
See also:

25 Jul 02 | Africa
15 Jul 02 | Africa
10 Jul 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes