July 06, 2022

The Ugandan insurgents guided by North Korean spirits

Some warlords in Northern Uganda believed ghosts from Pyongyang could stop bullets and plan battles

The Ugandan-North Korean military relationship goes back to the early 1980s. After the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979, Ugandan President Milton Obote took power. However, guerrillas, led by the current leader of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, threatened Obote’s nascent regime. Naturally, Obote looked to his military forces, the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA), for security, loyalty, and strength.

However, these soldiers lacked specialized military training and discipline. Seeking improvement in these areas, Obote called upon his old friend, Kim Il Sung, for help. To Obote, the Korean People’s Army, with its steadfast loyalty to Kim, seemed like obvious role models for his military forces. Obote quickly signed a military agreement with Kim. A team of North Korean military advisors hopped on a plane to Uganda in 1982 - presumably, after cash was exchanged.