Uganda

Factbox - Uganda's 20-year civil war and LRA rebels

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April 26 (Reuters) - Uganda's government and Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels resumed peace talks on Thursday aimed at ending two decades of civil conflict.

Here are some key facts about Uganda's war and the LRA:

* The rebellion began as a popular uprising in northern Uganda after President Yoweri Museveni seized power in 1986. Self-styled prophetess Alice Lakwena led fighters she said were magically immune to bullets. They were defeated.

* A relative, Joseph Kony, launched the LRA after Lakwena's group was disbanded in 1987. He also had prophetic ambitions, but his tactics of killing civilians, mutilating survivors and forcibly conscripting children soon alienated supporters.

* There is no universally accepted figure, but the LRA is believed to have abducted many thousands of children. Some are freed within days, others never escape.

* Though northerners revile the LRA atrocities, they also blame Museveni for setting up camps for 1.7 million people as a counter-insurgency strategy, fuelling one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

* Peace talks that began last July produced a truce in August. But the negotiations frequently stalled, and in January LRA representatives walked out, saying they distrusted the south Sudanese mediators. They were persuaded last month to return.

* Kony and four of his deputies are wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He says he will not make peace until the charges are dropped.

* Kony's force was once supported by the Sudanese government as a proxy militia, although Khartoum says it has now cut ties. Kony left hideouts in southern Sudan in 2005 for the Democratic Republic of Congo's remote Garamba forest.

* The LRA says it is fighting to rule Uganda by the Biblical Ten Commandments. They also defend more down-to-earth northern grievances, from looting by Museveni's troops in 1986 to demands for a bigger share of political power.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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