Violence, reconciliation and identity: the reintegration of Lord's Resistance Army Child Abductees in Northern Uganda.
ISS, Institute of Security Studies
The presence and participation of children in war, as casualties and soldiers, is not a new phenomenon. Between 1998 and 2001 children were being used as soldiers in at least 87 out of 178 countries – including both conflict and non-conflict situations. In Uganda, forced conscription of children into conflict as soldiers and combatants first gained prominence during 1980, when Museveni’s resistance force had recruited an estimated 3,000 kadogos. Uganda was chosen as a case study because of the continued abduction of children by rebel forces and the ongoing prevalence of violence against ordinary people, resulting in an increasing incidence of refugees and mass internal forced displacements. The presence of Ugandan Government military forces in Sudan is an added dimension to the regionalisation of the conflict… Reintegration occurs in the context of family relationships that are conducted under a state of uncertainty and emergency. Few social services and infrastructure, no matter how rudimentary these may be, could be considered as functional. Schools have ceased to function in many areas, water supplies are constantly disrupted and transport networks are contingent on the security situation and thus unreliable. The economies have been shattered and linkages to the greater region highly disrupted, if not completely severed. Subsistence agriculture has come under pressure as people have been squeezed into ever decreasing geographical spaces as a result of voluntary or forced relocation to IDP camps or into towns. Where remnants of ‘normality’ exist, they operate under conditions of extreme stress. This monograph highlights the process of reintegration of LRA abductees in this context: it may hold the seeds of future conflict or contribute to future peace.
Uganda , Child soldiers , Youth and war , Armed forces , Violence , Child abductees , Reintegration programmes , Lord's resistance army
Veale, A. and Stavrou, A. (2003) Violence, reconciliation and identity: The reintegration of Lord's Resistance Army Child Abductees in Northern Uganda, ISS Monograph No 92, November, South Africa: Institute of Security Studies.
© 2003 ISS; The Authors.