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Wars of the past and war in the present: The Lord’s Resistance Movement/Army in Uganda
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2006 (English)In: Africa, ISSN 0001-9720, E-ISSN 1750-0184, Vol. 76, no 2, 200-220 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

War has ravaged Acholiland in northern Uganda since 1986. The Ugandan army is fighting the Lord's ResistanceMovement/Army (LRM/A) rebels. Based on anthropological fieldwork, the article aims at exemplifying the ways in which non-combatant people's experiences of war and violence are domesticated in cosmological terms as strategies of coping, and it relates tales of wars in the past to experiences of violent death and war in the present. There has been a politicized debate in Uganda over whether or not the LRM/A rebels have the elders' ceremonial warfare blessing. In sketching this debate, the article interprets the possible warfare blessing - which some informants interpreted as having turned into a curse on Acholiland - as a critical event that benefits from further deliberation, regardless of its existence or non-existence. It is argued that no warfare blessing can be regarded as the mere utterance of words. Rather, a blessing is performed within the framework of the local moral world. It is finally argued that the issue of the warfare blessing is a lived consequence of the conflict, but, nevertheless, cannot be used as an explanatory model for the cause of the conflict.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 76, no 2, 200-220 p.
Keyword [en]
Guerrilla warfare, Uganda, Lord's Resistance Army, Acholi cosmology
National Category
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-80706DOI: 10.3366/afr.2006.76.2.200ISI: 000202983100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-80706DiVA: diva2:108620
Available from: 2008-09-27 Created: 2008-09-27 Last updated: 2014-11-05Bibliographically approved

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Finnström, Sverker
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