Comparing Somalia’s Al-Shabaab and Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army

By Dr. Emmanuel Kisiangani


Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Paper 229, December 2011.


“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 rationalized, they can be understood by entering the two group’s frames’ of mind.


Unfortunately, those responding to them have for long seen the groups in terms of threats to the (intervenors’) own security rather than in terms of local grievances and cultural sensitivities. A Victory, therefore, is not about the destruction of the insurgent fighters but rather winning of the hearts and minds of the local population.”

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