INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS STUDIES-IIS JILIN UNIVERSITY-CHINA TOPIC: A liberation movement in Uganda: a case of the Lord Resistance Movement/Army (LRM/A) 1986 – 2006.
This paper is set within the theory of sociology of learning and social movement frame work. It will examine documents/reports from government and non governmental organizations, personal experience and observation as a resident of a geographical space where the social movement occurred, private studies about the movement and government responses, and reports from the International community in understanding the movement. It shows that people who are victims of political, economic and social marginalization are pushed and pulled to join social movements. Their memberships transform them into actors in changing their own circumstances. They are push/pulled to take actions not because of their personal understanding, but because of institutionalized factors that affects their livelihoods. Four main interests run throughout the paper. The first provides the analysis of Social Movement (SM); the second, summarizes the character/profile of the LRM/A, and the third part provides the theoretical implications of the movements with particular emphasis on learning. And the last part offers a conclusion.
The turbulent post-independence history of Uganda was marred by persistent conflicts due to the legacy of British colonial administration. The British divide and rule policy manipulated pre-existing differences as tools of colonial governance bequeathing tenuous nationalism and a fractured national state. The divide and rule policy impeded the emergence of a Ugandan nationalism and perpetrated ethnic, religious and regional divisions. The combination of these factors has contributed to instability and political violence during the reigns of former dictator Idi Amin [1972-79], Obote II [1982 – 85] and General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni [1986 to date]. The violence led to the emergence of social movements to challenge the state in providing security, social welfare leading to attempts to overthrow the existing and oppressive political order. Many rebels groups were formed to challenge the legitimacy of the state at different times and material circumstances. The latest of these, the Lord Resistance Movement/Army (LRM/A) continues to fight a brutal guerilla war with claims to be seeking an end to the marginalization of the northern ethnic groups and restoration of democracy. In this paper, I will focus on the LRM/A, of Joseph Kony, as a social movement (SM) operating in northern Uganda. How did the LRA emerge? What were their grievances and modes of operation? How effective were they in meeting their goals? This paper seeks to bring deeper insights to the understating of SM by examining the inter play of culture, history, ethnic divides, religion, national and regional states politics, as well as activists inside and outside the movement. The paper is divided into four parts. The first provides the analysis of Social Movement (SM); the second, summarizes the character/profile of the LRM/A, and the third part provides the theoretical implications of the movements with particular emphasis on learning. In the last part, it offers a conclusion. A Review of Theories
Social movements (SM) in contemporary society, including those linked both to transnational and global movements have been variously defined by scholars. John McCarthy (1999) defines SM as a set of opinions and beliefs in a population which represents preferences for changing some elements of the social structure and/or reward distribution of a society. According to Tilly (1978), social movement is a political complex which combine three elements: (1) campaigns of collective claims on target authorities; (2) an array of claim making performances including special puropose associations, public...