Ugandan civil conflict

and invisible children

Uganda had a rocky transition from imperial British rule to self-government and independence. Power shifts have been taking place since, and the resulting civil conflict has become "one of the longest running conflicts on the planet" (Eichstaedt).
"Since the late 1980s Uganda has rebounded from the abyss of civil war and economic catastrophe to become relatively peaceful, stable and prosperous" (BBC). But what caused this civil war?

Uganda has had a series of power shifts starting with prime minister Obote being overthrow in 1971 by the military commander Idi Amin Dada. He begins a "reign of terror" (Eichstaedt) that results in 300,000 dead.

From there, many other violent power shifts occur. In 1979, Amin is overthrown by the National Liberation Army. A year later, Obote becomes president and the National Resistance Army wages war against him. In 1985, Obote is overthrown again and Tito Okello comes to power, leading with military force. The National Resistance Army then make Museveni president.

The country seems to be recovering until a witch-doctor Kony starts the Lord's Resistance Army that commit many monstrous acts including the forced service of 'invisible children' and the mutilation and murder of many.


The conflict is caused by weak political structure. This allowed all of the separate armies to use force and disregard of human rights to further their own interests.


Many people were killed of course, but many others were mutilated, raped, and forced to murder their families. There was traumatization and general lack of security for a lot of people. With no stable government, it was hard to accomplish anything as a nation.


One of the solutions to the invisible children aspect of Ugandan civil conflict were the anti-Kony campaigns. Kony was on the ring leaders of the invisible children. He sent children off the war, made them kill their families, and mutilate those who refused to join. The anti-Kony campaigns helped raise awareness to the people so that they could stop the Lord's Resistance Army.

Uganda has also taken measure to improve the weak government, including a new constitution in 1995.

In Conclusion...

Power in Uganda has been forcibly seized by many different military groups. One of the most notorious groups was the Lord's Resistance Army that forced children into service. Uganda has greatly improved the situation with peace talks and reforms to government structure.

Works Cited

BBC. “Uganda profile”. BBC News. 12 December 2013. 6 March 2014.

Eichstaedt, Peter. First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army. Chicago, IL. Lawrence Hill. 2009.