Amuka (Uganda)

Country: Uganda
Details of Formation: The Amuka militia is an auxiliary local self-defense force, formed to fight the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels alongside Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF). Members are recruited from and operate in the Lango District.
Details of Termination: Although there is no clear evidence of the group being terminated, one source mentions the group being ‘disbanded’ in 2008.
Purpose: When the LRA became more aggressive and expanded its area of operation in Uganda in mid-2003, the army proved less equipped to fight the enemy. Several local militias were raised, including the Amuka in the Lango region. The militias achieved the purpose for which they were established, namely fighting LRA rebels, even though Amuka did not do as well as other militias since they were less equipped and loosely committed. These local militias were able to obtain more accurate intelligence information as they knew the local languages (Rukooko: 224).
Organisation: Mike Mukula (minister of health during the early 2000s and member of NRM) visited the Amuka training camps and assured the force that the government would provide them with uniforms, boots, food, medicine and payment, thus exercising control via material goods and financial support (Rukooko 2005: 224).
Weapons and Training: The Amuka militia underwent training at Aler Farm, nine miles from Lira town, under the command of Lt-Col Jim Willis Byarugaba. They were armed with AK-47 rifles.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: Recruits of the Amuka militia received regular payment, which reassured them of the government’s recognition of their effort to bring peace to the country.
Treatment of Civilians: The Amuka militia existed in order to shield civilians from LRA rebel violence within their region of Lango. Incidents of violence against civilians have not been reported.
Other Information: --
References: Rukooko, A. Byaruhanga. 2005. Protracted Civil War, Civil Militias and Political Transition in Uganda since 1986. In David J. Francis (ed.) Civil Militia: Africa’s intractable security menace? Aldershot: Ashgate, 213-230.