How a Ugandan Rebel Group Uses Technology

More
enough2.jpg

The Lord's Resistance Army has been fighting a violent guerrilla war in northern Uganda for more than 20 years. Today, the Enough Project, an anti-genocide and war crimes group supported by the Center for American Progress, released a detailed report on the current state of the LRA.

In the world outside the conflict, a lot has changed since 1987. Mobile communications and computing, for example, are now widespread all over the world. In a fascinating passage from the Enough Project's report, they describe exactly how the rebel group, which is under increasing pressure from the Ugandan military, uses electronics.

Despite being regarded as a rag tag band of illiterate fighters, LRA commanders have successfully used sophisticated communications technology in the past. Apart from the use
of maps and satellite phones, [leader Joseph] Kony and his commanders also use dual systems phones (using satellite and mobile phone coverage), GPS monitors which the LRA commanders use to navigate and arrive at prearranged meeting places, maps, and laptops.

The laptops and satellite phones were supplied to the LRA during the Juba Talks or were stolen later. The laptops, powered by solar panels, are mostly used to watch movies when groups camp for the night, LRA commanders continue to keep coded notes in notebooks. There have also been rumors that Kony has been using a Blackberry-like device. [emphasis added]

Via Chris Albon.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The U.S. is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In