Uganda: "Forced marriage within the Lord’s Resistance Army, Uganda"

WLUML Networkers
This paper focuses on the experiences of those women and girls forcibly married within the Lords Resistence Army (LRA) in Uganda, and their attempts to reintegrate in civilian life after captivity.
It documents and describes how females were often beaten, raped, impregnated, and forced to assume the role of ‘wife’ to the fighters or commanders to whom they were given. The authors argue that the responsibility for the crimes committed against these females clearly lies with the top LRA leadership which played the central role in orchestrating the systematic and widespread abduction of females for the purpose of forced marriages.
The paper highlights how none of these forced marriages are recognised or binding as formal marriages by any legal standard in Uganda or within northern Ugandan customary law. To the contrary, both Ugandan and international law criminalise elements that comprise forced marriage. The document contextualises the discussion for forced marriage with the LRA then offers a brief overview of the conflict itself and its effects on the civilian population. The authors finish with a conversation about forced marriage as a crime against humanity, distinct from other crimes such as rape, sexual slavery, and enslavement.

Authors: K. Carlson; D. Mazurana
Publisher: Feinstein International Center, USA, 2008