The genocide in Uganda

Northern Uganda has been a war zone or twenty years. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an apocalyptic christian cult, has waged a cruel war on the Acholi people, while the Ugandan military tried to crush the LRA with brute force. The situation is complicated, as the LRA abducts Acholi children, to turn them into child soldiers and sex slaves or their commanders. So, many Acholi prefer a negotiated peace with the LRA in order to possibly get their children back.

Children’s rights activist Olara Otunnu is waging a campaign to raise the international profile of this humanitarian crisis:

Otunnu in August resigned his post as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to crusade against human rights abuses in northern Uganda.

In July, he had led the effort that culminated in Security Council resolution 1612, which establishes the first comprehensive monitoring and reporting system to protect children in conflict situations.

The resolution includes a “naming and shaming list” of 54 offending parties, rebel groups as well as governments, which are cited for grave violations against children. The Uganda government is on the list.

Otunnu said that the 20-year conflict in northern Uganda had led to massive atrocities, destruction, and infant mortality and produced an epidemic of HIV/Aids.
Otunnu Says There is Genocide in North, The Monitor, Kampala, 9/19/05

Recently, Otunnu has made a point of specifically calling the situation in Acholiland a genocide. On September 14 at Lehman College in new York, where he received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Mr. Olara Otunnu said that

the twenty-year conflict in northern Uganda had led to massive atrocities, destruction, rapes, abductions, and infant mortality and produced an epidemic of HIV/AIDS. More than 1.6 million people have been forcibly relocated to what were effectively concentration camps in “abominable conditions,” he said, while two generations of children have been deprived of education and basic health care. “An entire society,” he said, “is being systematically destroyed in full view of the international community.”
Lehman College Press release (PDF), 9/15/05

I think that the reason why it is so hard to focus international attention on this crisis has to do with the complexity of the situation. When a muslim majority terrorizes a christian minority, we have a scenario that is very compelling to many Europeans and Americans. But here in Uganda the victims are ground up between a christian cult and a government that is considered an ally in the War on Terror. This is much harder to explain an therefore does not lend itself to the simplistic black/white worldview so popular these days.

29 Responses to “The genocide in Uganda”

  1. w o r d s » Blog Archive » Ups and downs Says:

    […] ed, in order to be able to run again in the election. And this is playing out as a regular genocide is in progress in Northern Uganda … This entry […]

  2. Tyreek Says:

    The website should be proof read before it is viewed by others. It might be taken a lot more seroius.

  3. jack robinson Says:

    The LRA spund like a bunch of fucking cunts to me.

  4. Mary Says:

    I think this is very tragic. We should all take it very seriously and do all we can to help.

  5. vicky Says:

    The genocide is being committed by the Ugandan government with the support of the UK and American government. They use the LRA issue as a cover up. The number of the LRA rebels are too few to keep over 2million civilians in concentraion camps where the death rates is the hightes in the world. The media is paid huge money to ensure that the LRA are blamed for every thing, so we the public do not fully hear the true picture.

  6. Person Says:

    Why is the media always such a pain in the ass when it comes to truth, seriously, is there any reason NOT to hate the paparazzi (in search of a more derogatory word). I can see the U.S. trying to cover it up, but why would they be messing with such a weak country in the first place, I mean there isn’t much room for expansionism, and we don’t really want to control a considerably weak country in the middle of Africa. What the **** is America doing in Uganda?

  7. John Polakowski Says:

    i think wat is going down in ugnada doesn’t hav enough info on the internet

  8. Ell Says:

    check out the Invisible Children video. its really touching and gives great info about what is going on… its a documentary about whats going on in Uganda. its great.

  9. yovo Says:

    Yes – definitely watch this documentary about the plight of the Acholi children! Watch it on Google Video. Run a Google search on “Night Commuters” and you’ll find much more information about the situation of the children of the Acholi people.

  10. Celia Says:


  11. Celia Says:

    I wish the genocide would ujst stop please people get along with each other!

  12. yovo Says:

    Celia – there is more to do than wish. Especially if you are a US citizen, write a polite but clear note to your representatives and tell them that the US needs to stop military “aid” to countries like Uganda. So often the promise of “War-on-terror” dollars perpetuates strife like the war in Acholiland.

  13. vicky Says:

    To readers

    ABC news has publish some article about what is going on in Northern Uganda. Some people have been giving their comments which I coppied for you blow, including the website. It is interesting to note that the INVISIBLE CHILDREN film was sponsored by the uganda government which is committing the genocide- no wonder the film was promoted one sided story.

    I am about to graduate from highschool this saturday, and we just watched a video in our Religion class called “invisible children”. It focuses on this very topic and we were all moved deeply by it. It makes you think about what the real issues are in this world. There is nothing in Iraq that is so important that God and everyone must be over there fighting for. There millions of helpless people in Uganda and Sudan that need our help. You cannot sit there and seriously say that we cannot do anything about it. Anyone can do anything they want. If we would just get the U.S.’s head out of Iraq’s “you know what” long enough, we might actually be able to help these people have a chance at living. This is ridiculous. If you still don’t believe me, watch Invisible Children yourself. There is, in fact, a second one coming out soon, if it is not already out. Watch it. Learn from it. Do something about it. Help them. Put yourself in their position.
    Posted by: Anna | May 21, 2007 10:34:55 PM
    Anna, you might want to know that Invisible Children is sponsored by the government of Uganda and their first film was altered after discussions with the government. The filmmakers’ security force is supplied by the President’s wife.
    Did you know the President of Uganda’s daughter didn’t know about the night commuters? Interesting huh? Which part of the story are you being told? Which parts of the documentary were left out?
    The photos here at least are moving to tell parts of the story that have been left out and there’s still more to unearth especially for people who’ve become sympathetic after seeing a movie. There are layers upon layers to this conflict.
    Posted by: Terri Roberts | May 21, 2007 10:55:28 PM
    Hi Ladies and Gentlemet ,what is happening in Northern Ugandam I can discribe it in a mathematic languge as double displacement that the equation need to be derive and solve in term of time(t)period(years) and dispcemet being a constant.
    so mathematician let’s try work out the equation with solution to this problem.The problem in northern Uganda is a man made long term project to reduce and weekend the socity.

  14. john smith Says:

    the world needs more than comments and wishes, what we really need is actions. THis web page
    has telephones and emails of UN members that will gladly provide you information and ideas to help these countries. Also my school has sent letters to the congress memebers to make them see what US citizens want

  15. yovo Says:

    John – thanks for your comment and your pointer to the UN website. Sorry it took me a day to approve your posting, but it was buried under a pile of spam … Yes – make your voice heard! Post to blogs, write your representatives, demand the US stop military aid to Uganda and other African countries. Africa’s bloody conflicts are often caused and/or perpetuated by foreign meddling – weapons, oil, diamonds … the US, China, France, the UK need to STOP messing with Africa!

  16. joseph bugyendu Says:

    The genocide in Uganda just like the genocide that happened in Rwanda is really an issue that must be given serious attention .

    However, we must not forget that both as mentioned above have one thing in common that must be investigated fully if justice must be seen to be done. The responsible people are in power and often make it somehow difficult to come up with the real truth as to the true culprits are although they are fully known to the victims and some other people!
    For example:
    – Gen. Y.K Museveni ( the president of Uganda ) trained and armed the RPF that invaded a neighbouring country that sparked off the genocide after killing the former presidents: Gen.J. Habyarima and his coligue of Burundi.
    – The fact remains that the killers of the two heads of state was as per the plan fully executed by the attacting force dully armed and for the purpose – by Uganda; that finally resulted into ethnic hatred beyond control as a result ending up with hundreds of both tutsi and hutu people massacred! Therefore, initially , who should be responsible for this nenocide and who should be tried ?

    In Northern UGANDA , the putting of people into concentration camps remains the responsiblility of the Ugandan government . By so doing, several: women, children and men have suffered close to two decades now – living many dead due to hunger and disease as aresult. Homes have been totally destroyed in the process and families torn a part as aresult of the senseless war without -end nor reasonable causes. The Government /army ( the UPDF ) just like the rebels ( OF KONY ) raped and killed civilians alike! So who should be tried and who should not be indicted in this case?

    Its well documented that the killings of these people in northern Uganda stands to benefit some war mongers within the government as a result of war.This is through inflated defence budgets and foreign aid that comes in to aid those victims. In most cases , however, its the Army top brass and others in power who stand to benefit rather the intended victims!

    The UN should fully investigate all without bias and bring all culprits to book
    without segregation.



    Uganda, clearlly stands out in all this mess and Gen. Museveni leads the line – for that matter!


  17. Donna Dillinger Says:

    This latest conflict was preceeded by years of Englands foolish colonialism. When they left the government was over thrown by Idie Amin. I lived there in 1971 my parents taught at the Lincoln School, our government never told us about the war, we had no rights and when push came to shove friends I had made dissappeared. This is the latest of conflicts that has left a wonderful country in ruins. They say, its for the best. Well they seem to say alot and improve nothing. I don’t know the solution for them is but this is wrong any way you look at it

  18. joseph bugyendu Says:

    The outstanding questions are and still remain:

    1. Who should be held responsible for the current mess the country is in now – and since 1986 todate ?

    2. What should be done to those responsible for that mess ?

    I would be very happy to learn and understand what the future holds for Ugandans just like other deserving people else where in the world!

  19. joseph bugyendu Says:


    As much as the truth is not told, there will still be no lasting peace and justice for those who deserve it anyway!
    If those who commit crimes against humanity are not tried:
    This will lead to more cases of concealed genocide as was the case in Ruanda and Iraq – under former dictator S. Hussein.

    We need answers but not cover-ups for those responsible no matter who they are today or anytime in question.

    I believe that:

    ” Justice should not only be said to be done but must be seen done” – however, do no know who has the full mandate safar of doing so now!

    How, when – and by who still remain the questions we need answered ny UNTED NATIONS -TODAY? Please!

  20. joseph bugyendu Says:


    As much as the truth is not told, there will still be no lasting peace and justice for those who deserve it anyway!
    If those who commit crimes against humanity are not tried:
    This will lead to more cases of concealed genocide as was the case in Ruanda and Iraq – under former dictator S. Hussein.

    We need answers but not cover-ups for those responsible no matter who they are today or anytime in question.

    I believe that:

    ” Justice should not only be said to be done but must be seen done” – however, do no know who has the full mandate safar of doing so now!

    How, when – and by who still remain the questions we need answered by UNiTED NATIONS -TODAY? Please!

  21. Donna Dillinger Says:

    Well Joseph it seems your love for the ugandans and their country is powerful and to be commended. I don’t know if you ever lived there and would like to learn that but as you mentioned hussan the former dictator of Iraq, I ask you this…He took in Idi Amin and gave his family a palace and all that entails, then when the war started Saudi Arabia took him in and did the same till he died. Question is this, is our answer, war, helping the Iraq people or justifing our outrage of terrorist? How has the U.N. helped? How can the world, which is full of dictators, bestopped and introduce a realistic foundation to run the countries with. Where is the money coming from, the weapons, the troops. You must see that a grass roots movement is great but not going to really change the world. With so many African countries soon facing the massive global warming, drought, desease, death from them alone will stagger the world. I haven’t even touched on the wars, war lords, bullies of every type. The U.N. couldn’t help because the powers that be refuse to let them in. The red cross helps but most of the items sent are taken again by the powers that be. The people suffer and die. Innocents lost. I tried very hard to effect a change in the 70s and 80s. wrote letters to Washington, local representative, congress, etc. No one wanted to hear my pleas for help, very few cared and even less helped. Joseph your not alone is this horror that is happening, I still can’t see a clear path to the end of this foolishness. Tribal war fare has happened for, well maybe ever and its still stronge in its power. Your voice is important and no one here is taking it for granted, but please how can we make a visable change here to start with, and using that money what is the nest step. Health care? School? Kevlor? I think the world already understands what genocide is but again how to stop it all over the world, how. what country gets help first and how about the neighboring countries, war has a trickle over effect. refuges will come and a whole new problem begins, again.

  22. joseph bugyendu Says:

    My love for life and human rights is much despite my personal limitations as an individual!

    However, given chance and choice , hope I can do anything to further the causes for having a free and safe world for mankind , without any delay or segregation. By so saying , Imean to say more and comment about what I personally know about to some extent – given the Ruanda / Ugandan genocide known to me among others. This is said well knowing that :secrecy and silence provide fertile grounds for the increase in the abuse of the known fundamental human rights noted world wide.

    Having known that , therefore, we need call for timely actions always from the United Nations against all those concerned so as to deter further human sufferings anywhrere without any :delays , fear and / or segregation as expected.

    Its my belief that:The United nations as a well known global organisation has the mandate to act accordingly and in a timely manner . More so, it has so many options well known to be at its disposal so as to enable it to do so – in order to avert the so many unspeakable human tragedies by man against fellow human beings a part from natural calamities/hazards.

  23. joseph bugyendu Says:

    The genocide in uganda!

    Whats the way forward as we continue seeing those responsible for killing others with impunity in the Great Lakes region- since they are known?

    Isn’t silence by those concerned frustrating the rule of law and the procedure of justice against them?

  24. sureka Says:

    what’s uganda president’s name ?

  25. bandeke Says:

    The particulars and or names for Uganda’s life – president:

    GEN. KAGUTA YOWERI MUSEVENI ( 1986 – 2007 ).

    He is also Known to be the Chairman of the ruling NRM-O ( National Resistance Movement Organisation todate and Commander in chief of the UPDF (Uganda People’s Defense Forces ).

    He is popularly known among other things for:

    1. Overthrowing or changing his country’s National Constitution of 1995 by removing presidential term limits – that would limit his stay in office for only two terms of five years each!

    2. Using his Army ( The UPDF ) to attack and plunder the resources of neighbouring states that include the DRC among others!

  26. yovo Says:

    Wikipedia has a page about Museveni:

    Google News search:

  27. Crispy Says:

    I honestly and personally think that this conflict was disgusting and wrong!
    Thank god, it has inproved and gotten quite better.

  28. Kaltz Says:

    cool pics

  29. Corbridge Says:

    That was a good reading and informative. You obviously know your stuff!