The Past

A Brief History of Uganda


1960 – Milton Obote forms the Uganda People’s Congress.
1962 – Uganda gains independence from Britain; Obote takes over the government and becomes Prime Minister.
1971 – After a successful coup d’etat overthrowing Obote, Idi Amin, Ugandan Military Commander, lauches his reign of terror killing an estimated 300,000 people.
1979 – Idi Amin is overthrown by an alliance that includes Yower Museveni, and flees to Libya.
1980 – Obote returns from a 10-year exile to become President in 1981.
1981 –Yoweri Museveni forms the National Resistance Army and begins a civil war claiming 100,000 lives.
1985 – Alice Auma, a Ugandan priestess, claims to be possessed by the spirit Lakwena (“messenger”), and forms the quasi-Christian religious group, the Holy Spirit.
1985 – Obote is overthrown by his own generals. Joseph Kony, a former witch doctor and cousin to Alice Auma, becomes spiritual adviser to northern rebels.
1986 – Tito Okello becomes military ruler. Museveni’s army marches into Kampala to defeat Okello and take the presidency. Okello’s forces flee to the north, crossing over to Sudan. Museveni occupies northern Uganda.
1986 – Alice (Lakwena) Auma bolsters her rebel army with fleeing soldiers and launches war against Museveni and is defeated.
1987 – Joseph Kony recruits remnants of Lakwena’s forces and forms the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). He becomes the sole rebel leader in the north. LRA begins its campaign of terror, abducting young children and making them child soldiers and sex slaves, through this process killing thousands of adults along the way.
1994 – When peace talks fail between Kony and the government, Kony finds support from the Sudanese government.
2002 – Uganda launches Operation Iron Fist after Sudan allows Ugandan troops to cross into South Sudan.
2002-2004 – Kony launches vicious counterattacks, and the war intensifies across the north, specifically in the district of Gulu.
2005 – Kony and his top commanders are indicted by International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

2008 – Peace agreement reached between LRA and Ugandan government. Kony refuses to sign.


Imagine the magnitude of hopelessness after decades of war and abuse, poverty and destruction.