Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirits

War in Northern Uganda, 1985–97
by Heike Behrend
rrp $49.01

Publisher: Ohio University Press

Series: Eastern African Studies

Publication Date: July 06, 2017

ISBN: 9780821445709

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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In August 1986, Alice Auma, a young Acholi woman in northern Uganda, proclaiming herself under the orders of a Christian spirit named Lakwena, raised an army called the “Holy Spirit Mobile Forces.” With it she waged a war against perceived evil, not only an external enemy represented by the National Resistance Army of the government, but internal enemies in the form of “impure” soldiers, witches, and sorcerers. She came very close to her goal of overthrowing the government but was defeated and fled to Kenya.

This book provides a unique view of Alice’s movement, based on interviews with its members and including their own writings, examining their perceptions of the threat of external and internal evil. It concludes with an account of the successor movements into which Alice’s forces fragmented and which still are active in the civil wars of the Sudan and Uganda.