During its decades-long struggle, both the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan military, the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF), have played out their conflict in educational institutions throughout the country. While these forces are better known for their utilization of child soldiers, they have also violated children’s rights by taking over schools.
- [The UPDF] trained combatants in schools in at least three northern districts during 2006 and 2007.
- In Ayoma, Kitgum District, the reopening of the school has been delayed due to UPDF occupation of the school facilities. UPDF forces were occupying Olung Primary School in Lukole, Kitgum District, until [they were relocated] in January 2007... In Lira District, Abongoweri primary school in Okwang sub-county, and Amwonyele primary school in Orum sub-county were still occupied by UPDF forces in February 2007.
- LRA has not knowingly operated in Ugandan territory since the cessation of hostilities in August 2006. Although fighters in the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army had been gone from their occupation of five primary schools in Lira, Uganda, for more than three years, unexploded ordnance and landmines prevented children from returning in March 2007.
- Two primary schools in Aswa county, Gulu district of Acholiland, were occupied by military forces and used for military training purposes. Through OHCHR intervention, the army vacated the schools on August 23, 2007. Owing to severe damage to the school structure, the Government plans to build new schools.
- As of 2008, Baralegi school in Lira District has remained under the occupation of the Presidential Guard Brigade since March 2004.