Ugandan Civil War

The Invisible Children

By Morgan Warrick

Introduction

The unrest in Uganda began in the 1980's. The Ugandan government was first disrupted by a man named Idi Amin Dada. His dictatorship resulted in more discontent in the country then before his interference. Dada was over thrown by the Tanzanian and Ugandan National Liberation Army. The power of the National Liberation Army was then over powered by the National Resistance Army at which time Yoweri Museveni was elected as president of Uganda. Museveni was challenged by other rebellious armies such as the Holy Spirit Mobile Forces led by Alice Lakwena. Alice was a village woman who claimed to be possessed by a holy spirit and was therefore a priestess of God. She fought against Museveni but was ultimately defeated. Museveni began to repair Uganda only to be challenged again. This challenger was Joseph Kony, Leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. Many who used to be in the HSMF joined Kony. Kony also gained members of his army by kidnapping children in the night and forcing them to be slaves and child soldiers. Many of these children are to young to understand and Uganda is still at war with the Lord's Resistance Army.

Causes

The civil wars in Uganda were started in Northern Uganda due to neglect from the government. Northern Uganda had little in means of transportation and education. Many religious groups in Uganda sought to help the people of the north but ended up fighting against themselves and the government. These many battles with many armies lead to many different leaders in Uganda which added to the confusion that the country was already in. These leaders soon became uncaring dictators leaving Uganda in worse shape then when they started.

Effects

The many rebel armies and terrible dictators in Uganda led mostly to the harm of innocent people. Hundred of civilians have been killed. Most by horrifying attacks by the LRA. Thousands of people have had their homes destroyed and rely on the government for refugee centers to live in. The country has become largely in debt due to spending that has gone to the military. This civil disaster has also spread to neighboring countries where rebellious armies hide. Now these countries are joining with Uganda to defeat the one major rebellious army that is left, the Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony.

"The Lord's Resistance Army had no agenda and no purpose other than its own survival" (Pike).

Invisible Children

Joseph Kony has supplied his army with child soldiers. These children are young and are taken from their homes in the night and forced to fight. "He brainwashed and indoctrinated the children with his lies and manipulated them with his claim of spiritual powers" (Invisible). Many times after being abducted these children were forced to murder their parents and siblings with machetes or other objects in order to survive and be allowed into the army. These children were led in guerilla warfare and attacks on religious places such as monasteries and abbeys. Children became so afraid of being abducted by Kony's army that every night they would walk miles from their villages to the larger towns where they would sleep in large groups in the town center where it was the most safe. Some children were able to escape from life in the army. Most of them find their way to refugee camps but become outcasts because other people do not believe them to be trustworthy. Most find friends only in others who have escaped.

Solutions

It is hard seeing any other solution to the problems in Uganda then the destruction of the Lord's Resistance Army which ultimately means the death of Kony. Kony has refused to sign any kind of peace agreement. He has in the passed participated in peace negotiations however he never signed any agreement. Most believe he participated in these meetings only to take the food and supplies offered by the Ugandan government and to have time to plan what he will do next.

Conclusion

Uganda has been at war with itself for many years now. There have been many leaders during this time which added to the state of upheaval that the country was already in. Due to these civil wars the country is in debt and the citizens of Uganda live in fear. The only thing between Uganda and peace now is Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. Kony is using children as soldiers and murdering civilians. It is said that Kony once killed one of his top officers for just suggesting that he sign the peace agreement. Seeing as an agreement is not likely the only way for Uganda to finally begin rebuilding is for the destruction of the LRA.

Works Cited

Fichstaedt, Peter. First Kill Your Family. Chicago, Illinois. Lawrence Hill Books. 2009 Print.

“History of the War”. Invisible Children. 3-10-14 Web. 3-10-14

Pike, John. “Uganda Civil War”. GlobalSecurity.org. 1-27-12 web. 3-10-14