Lugbara - History and Cultural Relations

The Lugbara came under colonial rule in 1900, as part of the Congo Free State. Arab slavers were active to the north and west during the nineteenth century, but the Lugbara escaped actual slave raiding because of their terrain and their military fierceness. Belgian administration was slight—and ceased upon the death of King Leopold II. The Lugabara were then handed over to Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, after which Lugbara country was harassed by European elephant hunters until it was transferred to the British administration of Uganda in 1914, as part of the new West Nile District. After the independence of Uganda in 1962, the Lugbara were largely ignored during the first regime of Milton Obote, offered many favors by Idi Dada Amin (who came from West Nile District), and subjected to brutal near-genocide under the second Obote regime. Today the Lugbara population is certainly far less than in the early 1950s, and their social economy and organization have altered markedly from their preindependence form.

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