The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)—a rebel movement fighting the government of Uganda—is estimated to have kidnapped over 60,000 Ugandan children and youth. Those abducted include one in three male adolescents and one in six female adolescents in northern Ugandan. While in captivity thousands of abducted young women and girls—most of whom are from the Acholi, Lango, and Iteso peoples—fought, cooked, carried supplies, fetched water, and cleaned for LRA fighters and commanders, including those who organized and carried out their abductions. Many of those abducted also served as forced wives to male members of the group. Half of those forced into marriage bore children. A minority of abducted females was forced to fight and some used violence against their own communities.
This report is based on in-depth investigation, primarily drawing on the testimony of 103 women and girls who were abducted and forced into marriage with LRA combatants. The authors also interviewed parents and family members of abducted females; ex-LRA combatants; religious, clan, and community leaders; local government officials; Acholi and Langi clan leaders and people responsible for customary law; lawyers, and local, national, and international NGOs working in northern Uganda.