Heike Behrend

Listed in: African Studies · Military History · Anthropology · Biography · Christianity · Religion · Women’s Studies




Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirits · War in Northern Uganda, 1985–97
By Heike Behrend

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.