War in Northern Uganda

Uganda's War with Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army

The long journey from War to Peace in Northern Uganda

20 some years of living in Fear of the Joseph Kony and the LRA- Now a new day has come...


War has become a part of life in Northern Uganda.  The North of Uganda had become a warzone.  It began with Alice Auma Lakwena, who inspired thousands of Acholi people to enter into a war with the government armed with only sticks and stones.  Led by the spirit of a dead Italian Officer – Lakwena claimed to haveFind out Who is Joseph Kony supernatural powers, after some initial victories she was defeated by the government army near the town of Jinja.  Inadvertently, this simple woman turned rebel general, barren in life, gave birth of the war of wars in Uganda, the clouds of which still hang over Uganda today and have spilled into other countries such as the DRC, South Sudan and the Central African Republic

After Alice Lakwena's defeat and subsequent escape to Kenya , Joseph Kony, a supposed cousin of Alice took over the mantle of the spirit of Lakwena who had departed from Alice Lakwena.  Unlike Alice Lakwena, who operated by a strict moral code, Joseph Kony created his own where violence became the rule of the day. 

Joseph Kony claims to be led by the Holy Spirit, claims to have divine powers but the only power he has, is raw violence against his own the people, the Acholis, against the Langi people, and against the people of the Teso region of Uganda.  Joseph Kony, the former altar boy, today inducts boys into in unholy Army of terror, girls are kidnapped as concubines, sex slaves, cooks, forced wives and are taught to kill.  There is nothing of the Lord in the Lord’s Resistance Army, even though some reporters call him a Christian, his theology is one of demonic terror, not of brotherly love as demonstrated in Christianity.  The observances of Christian or Islamic practices are simply a façade but the reality of either religion is not demonstrated in the day-to-day ways of Joseph Kony and his LRA. 

Since 1986, Joseph Kony has held the north in a grip of terror and fear. His methods are brute force, terrifying violence and the power of myth and his invincibility

  • 30,000 children have been abducted and enlisted through brainwashing and the threat of violence into the LRA. (The figures used can vary from 25,000 to 66,000)

  • 30,000 some people have been killed as direct action of the LRA.  A total of 100,000 died due to direct and indirect actions of the LRA.

  • Thousands have been maimed physically with lips, ears, mouths and limbs being cut off since they were seen as traitors or informers. betraying the cause of Joseph Kony.

  • 2 Million People were displaced either voluntarily or through government action into camps where life was simply hell on earth.

  • Countless of children are unaccounted for, dying in combat, or from diseases such as malaria. Many children escaped, 24,000 ex-LRA members have been granted amnesty in Uganda.

  • 40,000 children became Night Commuters, leaving their villages at night and staying in towns such as Gulu at centers, hospitals, storefronts, verandas.  Many of them would be abused during their nightly stay.

  • Villages were burned, crops destroyed, livestock taken.

  • More schools were closed than remained open during the time of the war causing children never to learn.  Schools in camps did not have the resources to do a proper job of teaching children.

  • Relief supply convoys were regularly attacked by the LRA curtailing food supplies for the camps and the region in general.

In July of 2006, the LRA and the Ugandan government signed a cessation of hostilities agreement while peace negotiations weChildren of the North returning to schoolre going on between the LRA and Uganda in Juba, South Sudan.  The peace agreement has never been signed and peace-talk negotiations ceased in 2008.  However, since the summer of 2006 peace has been back inside of Uganda.  Unfortunately, Joseph Kony simply moved his army terror into South Sudan, then the Democratic Republic of Congo, also excursions into the Central African Republic where the same tactics that were used in Uganda continued.

The peace in Northern Uganda continued even as the Ugandan army attacked Kony’s camps inside of Garamba National Park in the DRC joined by forces from the DRC and South Sudan, but in the aftermath hundreds were murdered by the LRA in revenge killings. (Kony fears the International arrest warrant from the ICC and refuses to sign a peace treaty)

Since July 1996, the following has taken place in the North of Uganda.

  • The Internally Displaced People Camps are empty or being emptied and people are returning to their villages and towns.  Land disputes have arisen by different people claiming property and land that the refugees had left behind.

  • Schools have reopened, even though at times no building is available, children will meet for school in diverse settings, even under  trees.

  • Compensation for the loss of livestock has been made in some cases. Seeds and seedlings have been given to farmers.  Goats were distributed.  Beekeeping has become a profitable business. 

  • People are planting again, tending their livestock and hoping for continued peace.

  • Businesses have opened where there was nothing during the war.  Banks from Kampala have opened new branches.

  • The Mobile Phone companies have expanded their network for coverage in the north.

  • The roads have become safe for travel and transportations of goods.  Bridges are being restored to use.

  • Escapees from the LRA are being rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.  A very tough one at times, since often the ex-LRA soldiers killed, maimed, looted in their own villages. (24,000 Ex-LRA members have been given amnesty by the Uganda Amnesty Commission 17,000 of those were combatants.  The re-integration process is not an easy one but with some traditional ways in the Acholi area an effort toward healing is made.)

  • The government of Uganda is putting money into the rebuilding process, not enough, but a beginning.

Ever so slowly, the north is rebuilding, hospitals are opening, schools have reopened, businesses starting, investors coming.  It will take many years for the North to be restored and actually it will take some kind of Marshall Plan.  Volunteers are pouring in from abroad to assist in the rebuilding process. It looks hopeful, the absence of a final peace agreement leaves the potential clouds of a new war over Uganda and that brings a sense of sadness.  Nevertheless, the north of Uganda has put its foot forward and there is a determination to see the region thrive and grow.  The town of Gulu is a bright spot and the town is growing and becoming ever more modern, daily new businesses are opening, even tourism is slowly returning to the North of Uganda…one can only hope that everyone would give peace a chance…from Kampala…jon


More Information on Joseph Kony, the LRA, and Northern Uganda

Alice Auma Lakwena

 Alice Auma Lakwena: Some see her as the Joan of Arc of Uganda, others as the mother of the long war in Uganda.

Who is Joseph KonyWho is Joseph Kony?  Villain, Christian, Muslim, Mystic, Patriot, Madman.  but who really is he? Who is this madman? Whose only goal is maim, rob & destroy. Uganda's Child Soldiers (Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army) What took place for over 20 years in Northern Uganda.

Catherine Ajok: The story of a courageous young woman, kidnapped, made a wife of Joseph Kony, after years reunited with her family in Northern Uganda.

Richard Akena Former Child SoldierRichard Akena:  Captures by the LRA several times, from child to killer, now heading an orphanage in Northern Uganda. His Story. Where are the children of the LRA?  Where are the abducted children of Uganda? What has happened to them?

Amnesty for Child Soldiers

Amnesty for LRA Child Soldiers? How Uganda handles former child soldiers and how they adjust into the community.

Night Commuter

The  Night Commuters of Northern Uganda: Fortunately this no longer exists but it is a look back to when it did.

Child Soldiers

Child Soldiers - Victims or Assailants:  Throughout history there have been child soldiers in all parts of the world.

Joseph Kony in 2009Uganda 2009 and Joseph Kony LRA: This is a look at the problems with the LRA in 2009 in the DRC. Joseph Kony - LRA UpdatesJoseph Kony LRA News Updates: regular updates to activities of the LRA, presently in neighboring countries of Uganda. It is still not Christmas in Northern Uganda - Christmas 2006It is still not Christmas in Northern Uganda: a look back to Christmas of 2006 in Northern Uganda
Christmas 2008 and the LRAIt does not feel like Christmas-Joseph Kony-Christmas 2008:  Operation Lightning Thunder began against the LRA on December 14, 2008.  Uganda is more than Idi Amin, Joseph KonyUganda is more than Idi Amin, Joseph Kony and the LRA:  The images that westerners have of Uganda is amazing.  Rarely do those images reflect the reality of Uganda. Living in a warzone - UgandaLiving in a Warzone - Uganda: Many people across the globe think that Uganda is a warzone, it is a warzone of wrong information about Uganda. Northern Uganda - Peace - Give it a Chance: It is time to put aside the wrong information and help to rebuild Northern Uganda in any way possible.
Joseph Kony's Mother dying wish.Joseph Kony's Mother's dying Wish.  Before she died she had a wish for her son Joseph Kony. Hep rebuild Northern UgandaVolunteers needed to help rebuild northern Uganda, two weeks working with a former Child Soldier at his orphanage - weeks that will change your life forever.  Two weeks in Kitgum, Northern Uganda that will remain with you for a long time.

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Last updated: 24 November 2010

   The War in Northern Uganda with Joseph Kony - LRA

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