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The Lord’s Resistance Army: Myth and Reality


About the Book

The Lord's Resistance Army is Africa's most extraordinarily persistent and notorious 'terrorist' group. Since their rebellion in northern Uganda began in 1987, the group is estimated to have abducted an estimated 30,000 children as well as committing a series of massacres and other horrific human rights abuses against the local population. Led by the mysterious Joseph Kony, who in 2005 was indicted by the International Criminal Court, they remain a group that inspires both fascination and fear.

Authoritative but provocative, The Lord's Resistance Army provides the most comprehensive analysis of the group available, dismantling numerous myths and providing a wealth of information that is not widely known. From the issue of child soldiers to the response of the Ugandan government, the book looks at every aspect of this most brutal of conflicts, and even includes a remarkable first-hand interview with Joseph Kony himself.

What People Have Said About the Book

'For those interested in a critical alternative to the official line from the ICC, this is a collection to read. It brings together a range of scholars, bright and bold, from within and outside the continent, joined by a shared commitment to a future for Africa beyond crime and punishment.' – Mahmood Mamdani, author of Saviours and Survivors: Darfur, Politics and the War on Terror

'The atrocities by the LRA left behind a legacy which will not die. This book gives the true account about the war, with no stone left untouched.' - Adrawa Lawrence Dulu, Programme Coordinator, African Development and Peace Initiative (ADPI)

'Why bad things happen in Africa. … there are no excuses for Joseph Kony and his bestial 'Christianity', but there are reasons for it rooted in the politics and history of Uganda and its neighbours. This book goes beyond the simplistic media stereotypes to provide the best analysis yet of how these child-abusers continue to defy international justice.' – Geoffrey Robertson QC, author of Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice

'This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the conflict in Uganda and in "terror" more generally.' – David Keen, LSE, author of Complex Emergencies

'While it has become cliché claim that any book is "essential" or "required" reading on a given subject, in this case the praise is more than fitting. One could not desire a more comprehensive, wide-ranging yet coherent, deeply informed discussion of the Lord's Resistance Army than the one Allen and Vlassenroot have put together. Covering such a diverse range of topics as the ethnic and spiritual aspects of the LRA and data about abductees to the failed Juba peace process and the International Criminal Court prosecution to transcripts of interviews with Joseph Kony himself, there is not a single chapter in this volume that does not advance our understanding of the LRA in important and significant ways. This book should also be held up as a template for how an edited volume should be put together to provide a wide-range spectrum of intellectual engagement on complex conflicts, in Africa and elsewhere. In the end, this volume is more than "essential" and "required". It is utterly brilliant.' – Kevin Dunn, Assistant Professor, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY, author of Imagining the Congo: The International Relations of Identity.

'This masterful, long-awaited and much-needed book transcends political agendas and uninformed stereotyping to present an astute and balanced analysis of the Lord's Resistance Army. The skilful assembling of expertise and insight from the key analysts of the LRA into a single publication makes this an essential read for researchers, practitioners, and students seeking to understand the LRA.' – Nana Poku, University of Bradford, co-author of Development and Human Security

'The conflict in northern Uganda has seemingly defied coherent explanation for the past two decades, yet in this insightful, compelling and compassionate book we at last have a definitive work on the strange phenomena that is the Lord's Resistance Army. Every essay here is contributes to our understanding of the political and social forces that have created and sustained Joseph Kony and his followers. If ever a group of international writers have provided an 'insider's account' of an African struggle, then this is surely it.' – David Anderson, University of Oxford, author of Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire

'A fascinating and revealing collection' – Harry Johnstone, Times Literary Supplement

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