Tuesday, February 06, 2007


The burial has taken place in Uganda of Alice Lakwena, the self-proclaimed prophetess who began the long-running insurgency in the north of the country.

She died in a refugee camp in Kenya last month, but was buried in her native village in Gulu district where she is still remembered as a healer.

Alice Lakwena led a rebellion against President Yoweri Museveni in the 1980s.

Her followers were defeated by government forces, but regrouped to form the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

The LRA - led by Ms Lakwena's cousin Joseph Kony - is now holding talks to end its 20-year conflict.

"Thousands of people attended her burial," a local official in Gulu district said.


Ms Lakwena founded the Holy Spirit Movement in 1986 after the overthrow of the northerner Milton Obote by President Yoweri Museveni.

Her followers believed magic potions protected them in battle.

Her 7,000 hymn-singing fighters got to within 130km of the capital, Kampala, before they were defeated by the government army in 1988.

After she fled, Ms Lakwena lived in a refugee camp in north-eastern Kenya.

She continued to inspire devotion among her followers, who believed she could cure various diseases.

More than 1.5 million people have fled their homes due to the conflict and thousands of children have been abducted by the LRA.


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