Experiences of forced mothers in northern Uganda: the legacy of war

Akello, G. (2013). Experiences of forced mothers in northern Uganda: the legacy of war. Intervention, 11(2), 149-156.

From 1986–2007, the Lord\'s Resistance Army inflicted severe suffering on civilians in northern Uganda through indiscriminate killing and child abductions. While both abducted boys and girls were trained to use arms, girls were commonly distributed among commanders as forced ‘wives’. These traumatised girls and young women (both pregnant and ‘forced mothers’) were retained in rehabilitation centres longer than any other ex-combatants. While they may have been accorded special privileges in the centres, after reintegration, their home communities stigmatised and discriminated against both mothers and children. This paper discusses the experiences of forced mothers and their children, while at rehabilitation centres, and through the reintegration process. Additionally, it examines how communities should be stimulated to view forced mothers and their children as survivors of multiple human rights violations.

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