The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has terrorized the northern regions of Uganda for the past eighteen years.  The proclaimed objective of this Christian rebel insurgency is to overthrow the current government and institute rule according to the precepts of the Ten Commandments.  In practice, however, it is civilians, not the Ugandan military or government, that are targeted in LRA attacks.  The rebels abduct children to utilize as soldiers and sex slaves, loot and burn villages and refugee camps, and rape, mutilate and murder civilians.  Their efforts have increased in the past twelve months since the government launched an aggressive offensive against LRA bases in southern Sudan.  This offensive has forced LRA activists to resettle within the country, where violence has begun to spread to eastern and southern regions.  Additionally, it has been reported that the LRA continues to receive weapons and support from sympathizers within the Sudanese government.  Such reports threaten the diplomatic ties between Uganda and Sudan that facilitated the Ugandan offensive against the LRA.

Members of the Acholi ethnic group have been the primary perpetrators and victims of LRA attacks due to their geographical proximity to LRA bases.  Their victimization, therefore, cannot be attributed to explicit targeting by the rebels.  Consequentially, the activities of the LRA could not be classified as “genocidal” until recently.  In April 2003, however, the group commenced violence specifically against Roman Catholics, and in June, LRA leader Joseph Kony reportedly called for the destruction of Catholic missions and the targeting of clergy.  Such activity constitutes the evolution of this violent rebellion into a genocidal campaign.   


Evidence of Abuse and Danger
  • Targeting of Roman Catholic missions and clergy (New Vision Online)
  • Targeting of civilians (Center for the Prevention of Genocide Country Report)
  • Man-exacerbated famine (Reuters AlertNet)
  • Abduction of children (Human Rights Watch)
  • Forcible recruitment of children under the age of 18 for military purposes (HRW)
  • Rape (Inter Presse Service News Agency Online)
  • Mutilation (
  • Looting and burning of villages and refugee camps (Church Times Online, HRW)
Field Contacts Verification
  1. International Media
  2. Embassies
  3. International Human Rights NGOs
  4. International Relief Organizations
  5. National Organizations

International Contacts:

United Nations Office of the Secretary General
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Commission for Human Rights
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations Commission for Refugees
United Nations Development Programme
African Union
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
European Union
European Commission Office for Humanitarian Aid

United States Contacts:


House of Representatives

  • Committee on International Relations

  • Subcommittee on Africa


  • Committee on Foreign Relations

  • Subcommittee on African Affairs

Department of State:

  • Bureau of African Affairs

  • Emergency Task Force

Foreign Ministries:

Embassy of the United States               
Embassy of Finland
Embassy of Uganda                             
Embassy of Rwanda
Embassy of Kenya                               
Embassy of the Netherlands
Embassy of Sudan                               
Embassy of Belgium
Embassy of DR Congo            
Embassy of Denmark
Embassy of the United Kingdom          
Embassy of Canada
Embassy of Norway                            
Embassy of Sweden
Included are UN ambassadors from these countries


Non-Governmental Organizations / Other:

Human Rights Watch
Amnesty InternationalIntl. Committee of the Red Cross
Ugandan Red Cross Society
Association of Volunteers in International Service (AVSI)
Catholic Relief Services


Washington Post
Washington Times
New York Times
Chicago Tribune
LA Times
Associated Press
United Press International
The East African Standard
The New Vision (Uganda National newspaper)
The Tablet (International Catholic newspaper)




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