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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Wars of the Past and War in the Present: The Lord's Resistance Movement/Army in Uganda
Author:Finnström, SverkerISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Uganda
Military, Defense and Arms
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40027109
Abstract:War has ravaged Acholiland in northern Uganda since 1986. The Ugandan army is fighting the Lord's Resistance Movement/Army (LRM/A) rebels. Based on anthropological fieldwork, the article exemplifies 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. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]