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Uganda

Uganda"s 18-year-long battle against the brutal Lord"s Resistance Army (LRA), an extremist rebel group based in Sudan, showed signs of abating in Aug. 2006, when the rebels agreed to declare a truce. Between 8,000 and 10,000 children have been abducted by the LRA to form the army of "prophet" Joseph Kony, whose aim was to take over Uganda and run it according to his vision of Christianity. The boys are turned into soldiers and the girls into sex slaves. Up to 1.5 million people in northern Uganda have been displaced because of the fighting and the fear that their children will be abducted. Kony and three other LRA leaders have been indicted on charges of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. The LRA and the government signed a permanent cease-fire in February 2008. Kony failed to show up to sign the landmark agreement several times in 2008, dashing hopes for formalized peace. The rebels, however, sought a cease-fire in January 2009, after the armies of Uganda, Southern Sudan, and Congo attacked their bases.

Parliament introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in November 2009. The legislation would implement the death penalty on gay individuals. The proposed bill met fierce condemnation from the European Union and the United States. Parliament did not act on the bill, and it became increasingly unpopular following the January 2011 murder of Ugandan gay-rights activist David Kato. In May, the government shelved the bill.

In July 2010, about 75 people watching the final game of the World Cup in a Kampala restaurant were killed in an explosion. The Somali militant Islamist group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying the attack was aimed at discouraging countries from supporting the transitional government in Somalia. Al-Shabab has been battling Somalia"s weak, Western-backed government for power for several years. Uganda contributes troops to an African Union force that has been propping up the government in Somalia.

Spirituality Facts

Stokely Carmichael on the Black Panthers Politics

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