Since their rebellion in northern Uganda began in 1987, the quasi-religious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is estimated to have abducted an estimated 30,000 children as well as committing a series of massacres and other horrific human rights abuses against the local population.
Joseph Kony and four other LRA leader in 2005 were indicted by the International Criminal Court.
Kony claims that he is a “freedom fighter who is fighting for freedom in Uganda.”
He says he is also fighting for the Ten Commandments, but claims to be guided by spirits.
In an article that provides a good introduction to Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army, one writer refers to him as a “self-proclaimed mystic with a garbled pseudo-Christian ideology.”
But clearly there is nothing even remotely religious, spiritual or Christian about Kony and his fellow terrorists.
- An Insider’s Portrait of Joseph Kony by C.J. Chivers, Dec. 31, 2010. This blog entry at the New York Times accompanies this document: Religious Beliefs of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army
This document represents a summarized excerpt of a report written by Lt. Col. Richard W. Skow, an American defense attaché, on the practices of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. Colonel Skow based that report on a series of intensive interviews conducted in late 2005, in Uganda, with former members of the L.R.A.
- A Comedy Writer Confronts ‘Mind-Shredding Evil’ in Uganda “An atheist South Park writer investigates the Lord’s Resistance Army and emerges with some unlikely heroes…” By Frederick Clarkson, Religion Dispatches, June 28, 2010
British comedy writer and celebrity journalist Jane Bussmann embarked on a Google quest for the most evil man in the world and found Joseph Kony, head of the Uganda-based Lord’s Resistance Army.
The paperback version of The Worst Date Ever: Or How It Took a Comedy Writer to Expose Africa’s Secret War was just released and a movie is “in development” by the producers of the Academy Award-winning film, Slumdog Millionaire. It may be the most ribald book about the atrocities of war you will ever read; you may, (as I did), find yourself laughing in the face of what Bussmann calls “mind-shredding evil.”
- Nature, structure and ideology of the LRA by IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army [Kindle edition | Buy a Kindle] by Peter Eichstaedt. Eichstaedt is veteran journalist and author. He is the former Africa editor for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, based in The Hague, Netherlands.
With a high literacy rate and AIDS seemingly under control, Uganda enjoyed a fine international reputation until it fell prey to revolution. For 20 years, the rebel army has killed and victimized tens of thousands and caused the displacement of two million people.
American journalist Eichstaedt has spent over two years there, speaking to many soldiers and victims, including young boys forced to fight, young girl “brides” forced into prostitution, and refugees held in detention camps. He also talks with local politicians (including the rebel militia that cloaks itself in Christian rhetoric) and with UN leaders trying to forge peace.
There are several memoirs told from the point of view of child soldiers, but Eichstaedt’s broader, less-personal study offers another perspective. His blend of interviews with observation and analysis of political history, including comparisons between Uganda and neighboring Rwanda, Sudan, and Congo, raises the elemental questions: Why didn’t the world know or care about what was happening? Why do people rebel and how does rebellion get out of hand? And is the call for forgiveness merely a way to prevent reprisals?
– Source: review by Hazel Rochman, Booklist, as quoted at Amazon.com
- The Lord’s Resistance Army: Myth and Reality by Tim Allen, a Reader at the London School of Economics and Program Director of the graduate program in Development Studies.
Authoritative but provocative, The Lord’s Resistance Army provides the most comprehensive analysis of the group available, dismantling numerous myths and providing a wealth of information that is not widely known. From the issue of child soldiers to the response of the Ugandan government, the book looks at every aspect of this most brutal of conflicts, and even includes a remarkable first-hand interview with Joseph Kony himself.
– Source: Book description as cited by Amazon.com
- Abduction – Uganda by Journeyman Pictures
Ugandan children are growing up in fear of being abducted or killed as the Lord’s Resistance Army continues to terrorise Northern Uganda.
The LRA has abducted over 5,000 children in the last year and made them into child killers. Thousands flee to neighbouring villages during the night in a desperate attempt to avoid abduction. After 17 years of civil war, President Museveni’s call for patience is beginning to wear thin. Uganda’s plea for international help still goes unheeded. The US are unwilling to send ground troops to such perilous terrain and aid organisations are struggling to sustain supplies. “The LRA are beyond the boundaries of negotiation,” claims the President. His confidence lies in “a military solution”, which for many promises only more violence and hardship.
- Inside the LRA – Uganda by Journeyman Pictures
Lured by a government amnesty, senior commanders from the LRA are coming out of the bush and speaking about their time with Joseph Kony. In this rare report, they justify their actions.
“He is from God. What he predicts comes true”, states Captain Ray Apire, explaining Kony’s hold over his soldiers. “By making people suffer, he is bringing people close to God”. Commanders explain how they interpreted Jesus’ command to “Go and catch people”, seeing it as an order to abduct children. For the first time in a decade, the government and LRA are involved in serious peace talks. But the conflict is far from over. A woman breaks down describing how her daughter was abducted the previous night. This is the second time her girl has been kidnapped so she knows she will probably be killed.
News and News Archive
- Religion News Blog’s news tracker on the Lord’s Resistance Army
- Trail of Death: LRA Atrocities in Northeastern Congo Human Rights Watch, March 28, 2010.
This 67-page report is the first detailed documentation of the Makombo massacre and other atrocities by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Congo in 2009 and early 2010. The report, based on a Human Rights Watch fact-finding mission to the massacre area in February, documents the brutal killings during the well-planned LRA attack from December 14 to 17 in the remote Makombo area of Haute Uele district.
- The Lord’s Resistance Army Photo feature, Washington Post: a look at some of the members, and victims, of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
- International Criminal Court arrest warrants for LRA leader Joseph Kony and other LRA leaders.
- LRA Crisis Tracker “The LRA Crisis Tracker is a real-time mapping platform and data collection system created to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army.”