SEPTEMBER 21, 2010: Rebuilding relationships to end war in East and Central Africa

Rebuilding relationships to end war in East and Central Africa

SOURCE: Conciliation Resources

Twenty-four years of civil war between the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government has caused great suffering to people living in northern Uganda, southern Sudan and more recently, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic.

Peace talks with from 2006 until 2008 offered the best hope for a settlement in recent times. In northern Uganda most of the 1.7 million displaced persons left the camps and began slowly rebuilding their homes and livelihoods.

Renewed military action from December 2008 after LRA leader Joseph Kony refused to sign a final peace deal had devastating consequences across the border in DRC and Southern Sudan. Operation Lightning Thunder mirrored past offensives, with large civilian casualties and widespread displacement across the region.

Conciliation Resources works with local partners and people to try to end this war peacefully. By strengthening their efforts we can help them deal with the issues that fuel and prolong the conflict. We believe a military response cannot address the social, political and economic issues that are its root causes. A genuine process of reconciliation is needed, with accountability for all.

February 2010: New Accord update on northern Uganda and the Juba peace process

October 2009: Regional Peacebuilding Committee's Juba meeting communique [pdf 82kb]

March 2009: recommendations agreed by Ugandan, Sudanese and Congolese civil society leaders who attended our regional peacebuilding conference


The LRA's ultimate goal is to overthrow President Museveni's government in Kampala but it usually targets civilians. Lacking popular support, it has abducted more than 20,000 children since the mid-1980s to use as fighters against their own people. Meanwhile the Ugandan People's Defence Force (UPDF) has sought to destroy it militarily. Many abducted children have been killed as a result.

From 1996 onwards over 1.7 million people were forced to move into makeshift camps, far from their homes. Most are seriously traumatized.

An amnesty law passed in Uganda in 2000 after pressure from civil society organizations and the international community gave LRA abductees the chance to return to their communities without prosecution for their crimes. Thousands came home, encouraged by those who long for peace.

URL Address: