Northern Uganda is still devastated from the effects of civil unrest that forced the Acholi people off their land and into the barracks of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the 1980s. Starting in 1987, the LRA, under the command of Joseph Kony, fought the government of Uganda, resorting to unspeakably brutal tactics and targeting the civilian population as the conflict progressed. Since the 1980s, the LRA has abducted approximately one in three male adolescents and one in five female adolescents in Uganda – a total of more than 60,000 Ugandan children. Uganda is still struggling to fully disarm, reintegrate and rehabilitate the LRA’s young recruits as well as provide resources and counseling for traumatized child “wives” of soldiers.
In 2005, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Joseph Kony, his deputy Vincent Otti, and commanders Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odiambo and Dominic Ongwen. Kony was indicted on 33 counts, including: 12 counts of crimes against humanity (enslavement; sexual enslavement; rape; inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and 21 counts of war crimes (murder; cruel treatment of civilians; intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population; pillaging; inducing rape; forced enlistment of children). He is still at large.