n Institute for Security Studies Papers - Comparing Somalia's al-Shabaab and Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army

Volume 2011, Issue 229
  • ISSN : 1026-0404



This paper argues that both al-Shabaab and the Lord's Resistance Army emerged out of comparable contexts and were motivated by real grievances. These two groups have coalesced around collective frames of injustices. The paper holds that while their methods and activities cannot be rationalised, they can be understood by entering the two groups' frame of mind. Unfortunately, those responding to them have for long seen the groups in terms of threats to their (the intervenors') own security rather than in terms of local grieviances. The paper maintains that for interventions to be effective, they need to deal with local grievances and cultural sensitivities. A victory, therefore, is not about the destruction of the insurgent fighters but rather the winning of the hearts and minds of the local population.

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