History of (Northern) Uganda in a Nutshell
THE LAST FIFTY YEARS
Reason Why CANEDA MINISTRIES is in Northern Uganda
The History of (Northern) Uganda during the last 50 years can be divided as follows:
I. 1965 – 1971: Period of Bloom and Boom: The first five years Development Plan.
II. 1972 – 1979/80: Period of Destruction and Decline.
III. 1981 – 1985: Period of Boom: Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and
IV. 1986 – 2006: Period of Gloom, Destruction and Decline.
V. 2007 – Present: Gloom and Hope for Future Bloom.
Following the first period during which Uganda often is referred to as the 'Bread Basket' of Africa we will briefly zero in on the two periods that have caused such an upheaval, fear and the destruction of the fundamental fabric of society: the family unit and the economy, especially in Northern Uganda.
First the period of 1972-1979/80 with Idi Amin as the main culprit of humanitarian and economic crimes.
This period was characterized by various events in the history of Ugandans, especially Northerners, and even more so among the Langi where Idi Amin Dada was referred to as the 'Notorious Butcher' of Ugandans. Amin was the stooge of all Uganda post independent Africa leaders. Nationalistic independent African leaders were targeted (Obote from Uganda, President Julius Nyerere of the Republic of Tanzania). Abuse of democratic tendencies, abuse of human right, injustice, use of firing squads, isolation by international community, lack of freedom of worship, introduction of Muslim doctrines in schools and the country (there was Friday breaks for ‘Salaming’ and half day studies on Saturdays), liberation war, rule by decree, cold blood killing, economic crisis, expulsion of foreigners, break down of social service, brain drainage, international isolation, political maneuvers, the highest turnover of presidents in two years.
After a brief period of some sort of normality with many attempts of reconstruction Northern Uganda entered a second, long period (1985-2006) of great sufferings. We call this the period of gloom, destruction and decline.
Kony became world’s most wanted person for war crimes, crimes against humanity by ICC in the Hague, The Netherlands. Although Kony can be said as a product of bad regimes, it also has ethnic bearing and trademarks. A most brutal modus operandi, never seen before, came to light: Lips were cut, hands were chopped off, people killed were cooked for the locals to feast on, and people forced into houses and burnt etc.
Unpredictable behavior of the Acholi shocked many, and no clear agenda can be identified. They were seen as a means of executing their agenda for the people of the North, particularly the Langi (people of Lango sub-region).
Government troupes drove those people into IDP camps. Cultural nets, values, norms, morals and hopes were broken down. New “cultures” sprang up such as prostitutions, sacrifice of children, child marriage, believing in witchcrafts, sex for sales, disobedience and no respect of elders, etc.
All kinds of diseases especially HIV/Aids took their toll.
Education and health of the people deteriorated or halted completely.
Abject poverty entrenched and hopelessness became the general feeling in Lango.
Introduced forced recruitment of children as child soldiers forcefully leading to massive loss of lives.
Recruited families by burning out their place of abode to deny them opportunity to coexist with government forces, thus giving information about them.
Selected soft targets such as boarding schools as sources of their forceful recruitment.
Used war crimes as a means to wage war i.e.: rape, torture, killing for branding abductees a killer as a means of recruitment.
Devastated the rural population by indiscriminate killings and denying livelihood opportunities.
Heeded to nobody only ‘his voice from within’ and Demoralized and tormented the rural population causing much psychological pains and current erratic behaviors.
The population was herded into Internally Displaced Peoples Camps with no hope for the future, the IDPCs at times turned into a death trap e.g Barlonyo in Ogur, Acokora in Otwal, Abia in Alebtong District.
The above mentioned historic evidences about the horrible sufferings experienced in Lango sub-region and among the Langi by the hands of Idi Amin and Joseph Kony have pushed people into poverty and dealing with too many human tragedies. They have lost too many capable leaders, and watched their economy collapse:
They have been hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed. but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9; NIV)
People in Lango sub-region, most of them Christians, do need your support.