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VISIBLE TIMELINE: Comparing the timeline of the activities of the Ugandan conflict (between the LRA and the Ugandan Government), U.S. Military & Government, oil findings, and Invisible Children. Symbols: • o  

Conflict between the LRA and the Ugandan Government U.S. Military and government Oil findings Invisible Children

**DISCLAIMER: This timeline only briefly covers key events. There are many other actors and events in the Ugandan conflict. For a full comprehensive coverage of the Ugandan conflict and history, please resort to the resources in the info-kit.

1986: • •

After a five-year guerrilla war, Yoweri Museveni and the southern-based National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) overthrow the Tito Okello regime and take power in Uganda. The NRM/A, in a hunt for suspected supporters of the overthrown regime, begin to terrorize the Northern Ugandan region through killing, looting, and displacing thousands of Acholi people.

1987: • •

NRM/A violence leads to over 27 rebel groups throughout Uganda to take up arms against the new government. Among these is the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony, in the Acholi sub-region of northern Uganda. Vicious fighting erupts between the NRM/A and the LRA; both sides seem mostly to target the Acholi civilian population instead of each other.

1991: •

Operation North: The Ugandan government launches new military offensive, leading to a new round of violent displacement by the NRM/A and a wave of atrocities by the LRA.

1994: •

Peace talks, initiated in 1993, end in failure when President Museveni gives the LRA a week to report and surrender all weapons. The LRA responds with more violence against the civilian population and begins to rely heavily on abducting children.


1995: •

The NRA is renamed the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). The NRA and UPDF are both accused of recruiting children into their ranks. *”Invisible Children:Rough Cut” uses the same footage of these NRA child soldiers for LRA soldiers.

1996: •

• •

The UPDF launches its policy of mass forced displacement of the Acholi population into internment camps. The unprotected camps made the Acholi easy targets for LRA violence, while the squalid conditions lead to a devastating humanitarian crisis caused by widespread malnutrition and disease. UPDF violence against camp inhabitants is also widespread, including rapes, killings, arbitrarily detentions, and other human rights abuses. The internment camp population grows to several hundred thousand by the end of 1996.

1997: •

By 1997, over 8,000 children are reported to having been abducted by the LRA.

2002: • •

• •

Amnesty Act fails between the LRA and the Ugandan government mainly due to the slow implementation and lack of political will of the Ugandan government. Operation Iron Fist: the UPDF enters Sudan to attack the LRA (the LRA has extended into neighboring countries at this point); the LRA responds by reentering Uganda and expanding their area of violent operations to Teso and Lango. The LRA numbers begin to decrease. A new round of forced displacement by the government leads to over 800,000 Acholi being displaced into internment camps—a full 70% of the population. The death toll from the humanitarian crisis in the camps reaches into the tens of thousands. By 2002, over 20,000 children are reported to having been abducted by the LRA.

2003:  Invisible Children releases “Invisible Children” and begins to gather a largely American and Christian following. 2004: Over 1 million Acholi in the internment camps. Numbers of night commuters—children who seek shelter in urban areas for the night, and who are featured in Invisible Children–peak in late 2004.  Tullow Oil gains interests in three Ugandan licenses through the Energy Africa acquisition. • •


 Invisible Children launches the Bracelet Campaign.

2005: • • •

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues arrest warrants for the top five LRA commanders. Number of night commuters dwindles. The LRA begins to withdraw from Uganda in 2005 & 2006 into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR), and South Sudan.

2006:  March: Tullow Oil discovers oil in Waraga-1 well. • July: Commencement of Juba Peace Talks between the Ugandan government and the LRA. **The LRA explicitly voices a political agenda, makes a public apology, requests the atrocities committed by Ugandan government to be acknowledged, and demands that its international indictments be lifted.  October: Tullow Oil discovers oil in Kingfisher-1. • August: The Ugandan Government and the LRA sign a cessation of hostilities agreement.  300 millions of barrels of oil recorded to be in Uganda.  Invisible Children officially releases “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” and launches the Global Night Commute campaign. 2007:  April: Invisible Children launches the Displace Me campaign.  After March: Tullow Oil makes further oil discoveries in Kaiso-Tony region. o The U.S. begins to openly support the Ugandan military by sending the U.S. Marines to Kitgum, Uganda. 2008:  In the first half of the year, Tullow Oil finds five oil wells. • February: The Ugandan government and the LRA sign a ceasefire agreement. o February: The U.S. State Department announces it will be spending more than $1 billion worth of contracts for private military contractors in Africa for the next five years.  April: Invisible Children launches its Northern Uganda Lobby Day & Symposium in Washington, D.C. • April: Joseph Kony says he needs more time to review the peace agreement. • May: More reports of LRA abductions in the Sudan, the DRC and CAR. o August: The U.S. declares Joseph Kony as a top terrorist. o September: The U.S. imposes sanctions on the LRA. • September: The U.N. and the DRC start military operations against the LRA. o October: The U.S. forms AFRICOM- the new U.S. military command for Africa.


November: Joseph Kony fails to sign the peace agreement. December: Ugandan, South Sudanese, and Congolese troops join in a military offensive against the LRA bases in Garamba, DRC. o December: Operation Lightning Thunder: The U.S. military aids the UPDF in launching an attack on the LRA bases in the DRC. • •

2009: • January: The LRA asks for a ceasefire agreement amidst the violence.  Tullow Oil discovers the Buffalo-Giraffe oil field. o May: “The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Recovery Act of 2009” is introduced to the U.S. Senate.  April: Invisible Children launches The Rescue campaign.  August: Tullow Oil discovers Ngassa-2, the most successful and promising oil drill in Uganda. • November: Top LRA officers begin to surrender in Yei, South Sudan. o November: AFRICOM launches Natural Fire 10, a “humanitarian” exercise in Kitgum, Uganda. 2010: o May: “The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Recovery Act of 2009” is enacted after being signed by President Obama on May 24, 2010. • October: The African Union (AU) announces that the CAR, the DRC, Sudan, and Uganda will join in a military offensive against the LRA. The U.N. peacekeeping troops in the DRC also join in the efforts. • November: Various groups like The Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative and The Allied Democratic Force call for peace talks. o The U.S. allocates $763 million to AFRICOM. 2011:  March: Tullow Oil signs a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the Government of Uganda that addresses the Ugandan Government’s taxation concerns and enables Tullow, CNOOC and Total to proceed with the basin-wide development.  March: Tullow Oil signs “Sale and Purchase Agreements” with CNOOC and Total for $2.9 billion total cash consideration.  April: Invisible Children launches the 25 campaign. o October: The U.S. sends 100 troops to Uganda. 2012:  March: Invisible Children launches the Kony2012 campaign. • March: The AU and the U.N. announce plans to send 5,000 troops in pursuit of the LRA. Acknowledge the influence of Kony2012 in the plans.  Uganda has oil reserves up to 2.5 billion barrels in the Albertine Graben and is expected to produce around 150,000 barrels of oil per day by 2015. • The LRA numbers have decreased significantly to only a few hundred and is poorly equipped, poorly armed, and poorly trained.


Resources: African Security Research Project. Africom and the Obama Administration. http://concernedafricascholars.org/african-securityresearch-project/?p=43 AFRICOM. About United States Africa Command. http://www.africom.mil/AfricomFAQs.asp Beyond Juba, 2012. The Uganda Conflict Timeline. http://www.beyondjuba.org/BJP1/conflict_timeline.php BBC. Can a joint military force defeat the LRA? http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/africahaveyoursay/2010/10/can-a-joint-military-forcedef.shtml Branch, Adam. Displacing Human Rights : War and Intervention in Northern Uganda. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Congressional Research Service. The Lord’s Resistance Army: The U.S. Response.http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R42094.pdf The Daily Monitor. Many Ugandans think oil cash won’t help. March 30, 2012. http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National//688334/1376398/-/awop42z/-/index.html Finnström, Sverker. Living With Bad Surroundings : War, History, and Everyday Moments in Northern Uganda. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008. Finnström, Sverker. “KONY 2012” and the Magic of International Relations”. http://www.e-ir.info/2012/03/15/kony-2012-and-themagic-of-international-relations/ Human Rights Watch, 2003. Abducted and Abused: Renewed War in Northern Uganda. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,HRW,,UGA,45dac8872,0.html Human Rights Watch, 2010. CAR/DR Congo: LRA Conducts Massive Abduction Campaign. http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/08/11/cardr-congo-lra-conducts-massive-abduction-campaign Human Rights Watch, 2003. Human Rights Watch World Report 2003. http://www.hrw.org/legacy/wr2k3/africa13.html Human Rights Watch, 1997. The Scars of Death: Children Abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,HRW,,UGA,3ae6a8410,0.html Human Rights Watch, 2005. Uprooted and Forgotten: Impunity and Human Rights Abuses in Northern Uganda. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2005/uganda0905/uganda0905.pdf IHS. Ngassa-2 Well Crucial to Tullow’s Uganda Oil Future. http://www.ihs.com/products/global-insight/industry-economicreport.aspx?id=106595671 Integrated Regional Informational Networks, 2008. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/topic,4565c2254a,465459f42,48ce1d631e,0,IRIN,,.html Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 2009. Ex-LRA Captives Speak of “Devil’s” Army. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,IWPR,,SDN,,49b13b805,0.html Invisible Children. http://www.invisiblechildren.com Mamdani, Mahmood. Kony: What Jason did not tell the Invisible Children. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/20123138139642455.html Nibbe, Ayesha Anne. “The Effects of a Narrative: Humanitarian Aid and Action in the Northern Uganda Conflict”. Diss. University of California, Davis, 2011. 3456852 Office of the President of the United States. 2011. President Obama’s letter to the House of Representatives and the Senate regarding the Lord’s Resistance Army. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/14/letter-president-speaker-house-representatives-and-president-pro-tempore Tullow Oil. A Brief Timeline. http://www.tullowoil.com/index.asp?pageid=63 The U.S. Department of State. 2012. Office of the Spokesperson Fact Sheet. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/03/186734.htm United States. Cong. Senate. Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/s1067 The United Nations, 2012. Press Conference on the Strategy Against Lord’s Resistance Army. http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2012/120323_LRA.doc.htm


UN-COVER THE NIGHT: Timeline  

Comparing the timeline of the activities of the Ugandan conflict (between the LRA and the Ugandan Government), U.S. Military & Government, o...

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