Paper short abstract:
Uganda: the Lord's Resistance Army and Africa's now longest running war; an example of the emplacement of emerging and merging global forces, violently connecting Africa with Europe (or vice versa). The presentation builds on research carried out in Uganda and with the Ugandan diaspora in Europe.
Paper long abstract:
Uganda: The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and Africa's longest running war. For some two decades, the war has rolled back and forth, like the changes from rainy season to dry season and back to rainy season. Even more, increasingly becoming a global project, perhaps the business of war is now slowly turning into an equally lucrative peace business. In this presentation I argue that the two concepts of peace and war are not absolute categories. Rather they represent quotidian moments along a lived and at times very uncertain continuum. In both peace and war life is continuously constituted and reconstituted in the search for a balance between the existential and the political, the local and the global, and the past and the future. At the same time, the Ugandan war/peace reality expands in time and space, violently connecting Africa with Europe (or vice versa). The massive influx of international aid has ended up being deeply entangled with local war realities. The US government included the LRA on its post-9/11 list of global terrorist groups when the Ugandan government joined the global war on terror. The rebel leadership is wanted by the International Criminal Court. This expansion in time and space, the presentation argues, exemplifies the painful and often violent emplacement of emerging and merging global war/peace realities. The presentation builds on recurrent fieldwork in war-torn Uganda, starting from 1997, combined with research carried out with the Ugandan diaspora in Europe.
Connecting peace and violence: zones, transgressions and causes