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Uganda: Acholi people face second genocide with U.S. troops in country

February 28, 2012

by Ann Garrison

Acholi children in an internally displaced people's camp in Kitgum, Northern Uganda - Photo: Wikimedia Commons
In October 2011, President Obama sent 100 U.S. Special Operations Forces into Uganda’s northern region to, he said, help the Ugandan Army protect the people by hunting down Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, commonly known by its acronym, the LRA. Now, however, many Acholi and other indigenous people of Northern Uganda say that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s attempt to evict them from their land is what really threatens their survival.

On Feb. 12, Ugandan American Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi published “Uganda: Museveni’s and Madhvani Group’s Acholi Land Grab Would Amount to Second Genocide.” “A vicious land grab,”Allimadi wrote, “is being carried out in Uganda, pairing the country’s dictator with an ‘investor,’ and the targets are the Acholi, genocide survivors who live in the northern part of the East African country, on abundant, fertile and mineral-rich land.”

“A vicious land grab is being carried out in Uganda, pairing the country’s dictator with an ‘investor,’ and the targets are the Acholi, genocide survivors who live in the northern part of the East African country, on abundant, fertile and mineral-rich land.” – Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi

During Museveni’s 26-year rule, since 1986, his army drove 90 percent of the Acholi people into refugee camps, where many died of starvation or disease or committed suicide, though Museveni justified the refugee camps by claiming that he was protecting the Acholi people from the LRA.

Allimadi cited documents attributed to President Museveni by American scholar Todd David Whitmore which show that Museveni was all the while eyeing Acholi land for mechanized agriculture. In recent years, he wrote, the land contest has intensified, as rich oil fields have been discovered in the region.

One member of a Northern Ugandan community which sustains itself by traditional, clan based agriculture, said in the video, “Shoot Us All Down,” made by the Kampala, Uganda-based Refugee Law Project, that many Northern Ugandans are ready to die to stop the land evictions: “Everywhere you go, you ask, talk about land. Aiyiyiyiyi … [people say]. Don’t take the only resource we have left. For land, I’m ready to die. I’m ready to shed blood.”

“For land, I’m ready to die.”

Milton Allimadi and others have said for several years that Museveni and the U.S. government are using the infamous LRA militia as an excuse to send in troops to secure oil and other resources in Uganda, Congo and South Sudan.

Ugandan American Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi hails from the Acholi region of Northern Uganda, where he says the Acholi people are now facing a second genocide consequent to land eviction.
In early January, Obama approved weapons sales to the new nation of South Sudan and the next week said that he would also send U.S. troops with expertise gained in the United States Marines, Air Force, Navy and Army, meaning again, Special Forces. In early February, they arrived in South Sudan, which borders Northern Uganda and is also a homeland to the Acholi people.

During the third week of February, wire services and mainstream dailies reported that U.S. troops are now in Uganda, Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. None reported the indigenous land evictions or what Milton Allimadi calls the Second Acholi Genocide.

Milton Allimadi will speak about the situation in Acholiland and the U.S. troops in the region with WBAI AfrobeatRadio, 99.5FM-NYC and streaming online at, between 4 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 1.

San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News, the Newsline EA (East Africa) and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, Weekend News on KPFA and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at


24 thoughts on “Uganda: Acholi people face second genocide with U.S. troops in country

  1. Guest

    This is an incredibly poorly written and researched piece. No one has argued that the US advisers in Uganda are there to protect the Acholi people from the LRA. They have lived in relative security from LRA violence since 2006. The U.S. advisers are addressing LRA violence that plague communities in DRC, South Sudan, and CAR. Of COURSE the Acholi would feel more of a threat from Museveni wanting to take their land then from the LRA at present.

    You are merging multiple stories here without ANY evidence of how the direct influence they have on each other. This is very poor journalism.

  2. Ann_Garrison

    The Acholi are also across the border of Northern Uganda in South Sudan.

    And, the legal groundwork for this is the Northern Uganda Recovery and LRA Disarmament Act.

    And, why is the LRA such a concern to the United States, and not these tragic land evictions threatening to finally destroy a whole people?

  3. Jaye

    I am disappointed by the lack of research in this article. The US troops are in Central Africa (in more countries than just Uganda) to assist regional efforts to arrest Joseph Kony and the top commanders of the LRA. This is not an issue to be overlooked–Kony is truly one of the world's worst war criminals and he is the first man indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.
    The US troops are absolutely not there to pursue any kind of US oil interests–that is an entirely different region of Uganda.

  4. Selina

    "The US troops are absolutely not there to pursue any kind of US oil interests–that is an entirely different region of Uganda. "

    "No one has argued that the US advisers in Uganda are there to protect the Acholi people from the LRA."

    A logical comment with regard to the US would be, "Yes one can argue that the US are in Uganda to not protect the Acholi but to maim and kill them, displace them from their land so they wont be in the US's way of obatining oil since its well known that S. Sudan and the DRC are oil rich so why not UGANDA.

  5. Selina

    It's very possible the LRA was used by the US as a cover to appear as the "bad guy" giving the US involvement in Uganda as the Great White Savior to a bunch of black people

  6. Joshua Dysart

    My name is Joshua Dysart. You are using my photograph without permission. I wouldn't mind, except that you're selling advertising. Also the article features extremely poor reporting. I am in no way affiliated with this article. If the photo is not taken down by the end of the day today I will have my representative contact your people personally.

    1. Ann_Garrison

      @Joshua Dysart:

      The San Francisco Bay View sells advertising but the advertising does not even cover the cost of printing the print version of the paper, which comes out once a month. Its publisher and editor have to fundraise every month to print it.

      There are hot link citations to most every fact in that report. I did not hot link the 90 percent figure, which was Milton Allimadi's, in the report that I had cited in the previous paragraph.

      Your photograph has been replaced with one made freely available by Wikimedia Commons.

  7. soltice

    until the geopolitical and economic changes sweep the african continent, OR, greedy corporate and other profit seeking entities seeking to get more rich and powerful get kicked out from this land back to their lavish country estates, these types of atrocities will keep on coming….It is human nature in its most vulgar form. On one side the poor people will do anything to survive and on the other….Rich will do ANYTHING to keep exploiting the poor for as long as THEY can…. So, do YOU? see this resolve in the near future?! Well, im kinda hoping for dec 21, 2012 to shake some things up. OR… and dont laugh now, communism will work for them perfectly….just look at what communism did for russia and china in only 70 years…they went from predominantly poor and uneducated to superpowers of the world. Simply said, you built up your economy and infrastructure and things will change in the future for better, but if you keep on putting profits infront….then Uganda is in your future forcast ladies and gentlemen. PS, not a communist….just saying

  8. Lil

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  9. RobC

    I was just in Uganda over the past week. I had several discussions with those in the gas and oil industry about Central and Eastern Africa. I was curious about US involvement with these industries and discovered surprisingly, that the US has very little if any interest in oil and gas in Africa. Very surprising too, to the European and North American people I spoke with.
    The author has been fed misinformation and should double check the motivations of his "sources".

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