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Lord's Resistance Army

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is a rebel group based in north Uganda which was formed in 1987. It is led by Joseph Kony, and has carried out many atrocities against the Acholis people in the area around the towns of Kitgum and Gulu. It is thought that the key objective of the LRA is to establish a state based on the biblical ten commandments. However, the LRA is responsible for the abduction and brainwashing of thousands of children, who have been trained as soldiers or treated as sex slaves. How the leaders of the LRA reconcile their apparent Christian beliefs and their campaign of terror and bloodshed is not understood.

The Ugandan army have struggled to defend many towns and villages from LRA attacks, and the Government has now started to foster and arm Acholis militias. However, some observers fear that the introduction of weapons in north Uganda will create more problems in the longer term.

It is estimated that nearly 9000 children have been abducted by the LRA between June 2002 and May 2003, and fear of continuing LRA attacks and abductions has created a widespread refugee problem. Thousands of families have had to leave their towns and villages for the safety of larger settlements, where they sleep on street corners and open spaces. Despite these nocturnal and longer term migrations, the plight of the Acholis people has received little media coverage in the developed world, and to date (November 2003), the subject has not been discussed by the United Nations.

The LRA and their impact on the people of North Uganda was the subject of Unreported World, a television documentary broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK on November 14th 2003.

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