First Son, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, spent the weekend musing about the nearly forgotten past of Lord’s Resistance Army [LRA] and its warlord, Joseph Kony.
The Senior Presidential Adviser for Special Operations, delved deeper into his archives and fished out an old picture of himself and other young UPDF officers navigating the jungles of Lango sub region.
For almost 20 years, insurgency caused by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Northern Uganda tore apart the fabric of the society.
It caused many people from mainly Acholi and Lango sub- regions to move from their homes/villages into Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDPs) camps.
These are some of the key areas UPDF fought hard to protect from attacks by Kony and his rebels.
“Pictures from the past,” Muhoozi said on Twitter while remembering those days in Lango.
Pictures from the past. Patrolling with comrades in northern Uganda in 2006, during the anti-LRA counter-insurgency campaign. pic.twitter.com/w99yOlgfo7
— Muhoozi Kainerugaba (@mkainerugaba) June 18, 2017
“Patrolling with comrades in northern Uganda in 2006, during the anti-LRA counter-insurgency campaign,” he explained the picture.
In the picture, Muhoozi [donning army uniform] is seen posing with then 2nd Lieutenant Asinguza [now a Major] in Special Forces Command (SFC) which Muhoozi previous commanded.
In 2007, government embarked on the construction of a historical monument in Lango region, in remembrance of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) atrocities in the region.
Although Lira experienced hit and run raids by the LRA throughout 2002, the majority of the violence and subsequent displacement took place in 2003 and 2004.
The LRA entered Lira district with a vengeance in November 2003, causing massive population movements from rural villages to Lira town and trading centres throughout the district.
The peak of the atrocities in Lango sub region took place in February 2004, when the LRA, having been attacked by the Amuka militia, sought revenge and brutally massacred hundreds of people in two horrific attacks.
In the first attack, More than 50 people were killed in Abyia, on February 4th, when the LRA, disguised as Amuka boys, entered the camp in broad daylight and started shooting.
The second attack took place in Barlonyo on February 21st 2004, when More than 300 people, mostly women and children were killed.
Upon his return to Uganda from Sandhurst in 2000, Muhoozi was assigned to the Presidential Protection Unit as a second lieutenant.
In 2001, he was promoted to the rank of major in the UPDF. As a major, he became a brigade commander in the Presidential Guard Brigade.
By 2006, he was among those hunting LRA insurgents in northern Uganda before graduating at Fort Leavenworth in 2008 upon which he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and appointed Commander of the Special Forces Group in the Uganda People’s Defence Force.
On 16 May 2016 he was promoted to the rank of major general by President Museveni and Senior Presidential Adviser for Special Operations on 10 January 2017.
Observers suggested that, by appointing Muhoozi as a presidential adviser, Museveni sought to give his son some political experience.