Edited by Kumar Rupesinghe
“This is an important and useful book for students of Uganda; it may also prove to be an important and useful contribution to the task of returning Uganda to normality.”
The International Journal of African Historical Studies
“Editor Rupesinghe does a brilliant job of editing and introducing the chapters, each of which contains helpful footnotes… . Libraries seeking a one–volume update on Uganda should seriously consider this work. Highly recommended for all public, college, specialized, and general libraries.”
C.W. Hartwig, Arkansas State University, Choice
There is a new mood in Uganda. There is a determination to reak out of the bitter history of internal conflict. Uganda gives hope to all those other areas of the world where violence has become endemic such as Ulster, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu says in his foreword to this book: “In South Africa we are acutely aware of the meaning of the conflict. We are still living through it.”
The importance of this book is that it is almost entirely by Ugandans themselves. Their contributions in the four parts show that they are realistic but determined.
• The colonial roots of violence.
• Conflicts within the political institutions.
• Conflicts produced by the unbalanced state of the economy and the land question.
• The international dimensions of the Uganda conflict and of Britain’s “blind eye of diplomacy.”
This collection shows that there is in Uganda what Martin Ennals of International Alert calls “a framework within which those directly affected by conflict can have their say in development issues.”
Kumar Rupesinghe is a senior research fellow at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO). More info →
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In August 1986, Alice Auma, a young Acholi woman in northern Uganda, proclaiming herself under the orders of a Christian spirit named Lakwena, raised an army called the “Holy Spirit Mobile Forces.” With it she waged a war against perceived evil, not only an external enemy represented by the National Resistance Army of the government, but internal enemies in the form of “impure” soldiers, witches, and sorcerers.
The outbreak of numerous and simultaneous violent conflicts around the globe in the past decade resulted in immense human suffering and countless lost lives. In part, both results were aided by inactivity or by belated and often misplaced responses by the international community to the embattled groups.
Yoweri Museveni battled to power in 1986. His government has impressed many observers as Uganda's most innovative since it gained independence from Britain in 1962. The Economist recommended it as a model for other African states struggling to develop their resources in the best interests of their peoples. But where was change to start? At the bottom in building resistance committees, or at the top in tough negotiations with the IMF? How was it to continue?