It is undoubtedly true that some of you who are ardent and prolific readers of historical literature came across the history of the Joseph Kony led so-called Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the horrendous carnage and human debris that was left by these thugs on the once beautiful, peaceful and glorious land of the Acholi people. This is not an imagination, neither a myth nor merely desktop publishing but a true life experience.
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Emerged first as a “holly spirit” and later Uganda People’s Democratic Army (UPDA), Alice Lakwena, the then magical leader of the movement died a few years and handed the throne to the clueless and diabolic Joseph Kony, who then transformed it into Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement. The main objective was not to turn back and kill tribesmen but strategic enemies who were pushing for the presidential seat when Dr Apollo Milton Obote died on 10th.October.2005
The departure of iconic Lakwena threw the movement in the circle of factionalism dominated by misogynists, which included Joseph Kony, Otii Vincent and Tito Okello Lotuwa among others.
The failure to agree and nominate a competent successor and contestant for the presidential seat made power wrangles dirtier and consequently, Kony rebelled when Tito Okello successfully took over the highest post of the country in 1985, though he only held the office for one year before he was dislodged by the incumbent president Yoweri Museveni.
The toppling of Lotuwa from power marked the horrible fate of the suffering of the Acholi people. What happens if a house is divided against itself? It falls and collapses, so is the case with this minority tribe. Since then, the enemies have progressed, controversy over the LRA movement flared, the Northern Ugandan politicians were relegated to puppets and spectators in the political arena and failure to secure presidential seat made Kony to turn guns against his tribesmen.
After Obote’s Uganada People’s Congress (UPC) a party under which Uganda attained her independence, Museveni who is the incumbent president of Uganda, formed the National Resistance Movement (NRM) which was another step towards a tyrannical leadership against the Acholi people and other minority group in Uganda. Museveni, who is one of the longest African serving leaders currently, took the advantage of the movement (LRA) devoid of aims and objectives and used it to destroy its own people.
The politricks left Northern Uganda which is mainly occupied by the Acholi people devastated with many people brutally massacred, arbitrarily arrested and some fled violence to neighbouring countries like Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and parts of Sudan.
Now I got a better story to tell after civil erupted in my country, the then Sudan and we sought refuge in the conflict-stricken Pader District in Northern Uganda. Imagine fleeing violence from one war-torn country to another, it’s like jumping from fire to a frying pan right? Just dig deeper and try to draw the mental picture of things coming ahead.
Camping in Northern Uganda, the South Sudanese refugees were given the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) who were just a pale shadow of a true protection forces. It was a green light for the LRA as victimisation of innocent and defenceless civilians continued under their watch for decades. Watch part of LRA atrocities on the Acholi land in the video below.
To be continued… Read the Part 2 of this article on the next page