(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises



- Joseph Kony, LRA Commander-in-Chief
A former altar boy, he took over the rebellion from his aunt Alice Lakwena, who fled to Kenya. As her former assistant, Kony led people to believe that he had emerged to continue Lakwena's war.

- Dr James Obita, Secretary for External Affairs and Mobilisation
Several times in 1996-1997, meetings were convened, bringing together representatives of the LRA, the government and the Acholi to discuss the conflict. The LRA was represented by Obita.

- Richard Matsanga, a.k.a. David Nyekorach
A Ugandan exile based in London, he was the LRA spokesman until 2002 when he gave up the position to become the Director of Africa Strategy, an NGO belonging to former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda.


- President Yoweri Museveni
Since 1986, the president of Uganda has quelled several rebellions, but this one continues. He has camped in the affected areas several times, changed commanders many times, but Kony still eludes him. Most recently, Museveni has amended an amnesty extended to the rebels to exclude the senior commanders of the LRA.

- Betty Bigombe, former minister for the pacification of the north
In 1994, the she almost succeeded in bringing the rebels out of the bush, but as talks progressed, the government gave the insurgents seven days to surrender or face the wrath of the army. The rebels chose the latter and the war continued. She left Gulu in 1996 after losing parliamentary elections and is now based in Washington as a consultant with the World Bank.

- Reagan Okumu, Member of Parliament for Aswa County and member of
the Presidential Peace team. He is an opponent of the NRM, who argues that the military solution cannot work in the north.

- Lt Gen David Tinyefuza
In 1990, he was minister of state for defense and the NRA's chief military combat strategist - commanding “Operation North”. Later, President Museveni recalled him.

- Lt Gen Caleb Akandwanaho, a.k.a. Salim Saleh
Museveni's younger brother, he has been involved in trying to stop the LRA conflict from the start. In 1988, he held peace talks with the rebels several times. Currently, he is still involved as a core member of the Presidential Peace Team.

- Lt Col Walter Ochora
Formerly a member of the rebel Uganda People's Democratic Movement, he left it to join the NRA. He is the current Gulu district chairman, as well as a leader in the battle against the LRA.

- Maj Gen Aronda Nyakairima,
He was initially charged with commanding the Iron Fist Operation, where the Uganda army was given a carte blanche by Sudan to enter and rout the rebellion. While the operation went on, he was promoted to Army Commander.


- Rev Sr Rachelle Fraser
The headmistress of St. Mary's College, Aboke got involved in the conflict when the LRA abducted students from her school in October 1996. She followed the rebels, met Kony and managed to convince the rebels to free some of the girls.

- Fr Carlos Rodriguez
He is a Spanish priest and prominent peace campaigner in the north. In February 2004, he issued a statement about a fire in Pabbo Camp, claiming it was started by a UPDF soldier. Eventually the government threatened to expel him, but the threat was later dropped.

-Archbishop John Baptist Odama
He is head of the Gulu Catholic Diocese and current chairman of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative. An immensely respected figure in the region, he has consistently called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

-Bishop Baker Ochola
He is a retired anglican bishop of Kitgum and the vice-chairman of the Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative. He lost his wife in the conflict.

- Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative
It is a multi-faith peace group that has tried to seek a peaceful resolution to the 18-year-old war. Members include Bishop Nelson Onono Ojweng, Anglican Bishop of Northern Uganda, Sheikh Musa Khalil, Acholi Khadi Shiek Musa Khalil and Fr Julius Orach, head of the Orthodox Church in Acholi.


The association was formed by parents of the girls who were abducted from St. Mary's College, in Aboke. With Ben Pere as the chairman in Gulu, and Otim Ogwal as the chairman of the Kampala branch, and Angellina Atyam as chair of the Lira branch, the association set out to try and rescue children, and do what they could to see an end to the war. Atyam’s own daughter spent years in captivity.


There have been two groups going by the name “Arrow”. The first was in 1992, when Minister Betty Bigombe initiated village-based, self-defence vigilante outfits known as ‘Arrow Groups’. These were a loose assortment of male villagers without central command, through which, locals were supposed to protect themselves against attacks by rebels.

The second group, ‘Arrow Boys’, were formed in mid-2003 when the LRA entered the Teso region in Eastern Uganda. It was a force created to fight the rebels from the Teso region.


Like the “Arrow Boys”, it is a force that was made up of native Lango people to fight and protect themselves against the LRA when Kony attacked the area in 2003.

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