威尔逊喜欢坎帕拉和他的生命,但在Ug中anda a man doesn’t count for much until he has some property of his own, a piece of land that he can cultivate and use as a retreat, and which, one day, can serve as his burial ground. So Wilson built himself a house in his ancestral village of Amugo, a collection of tumbledown shops and mud-wattle huts along a derelict railway line in the north. Wilson’s wife Josephine and four of their children were staying there, visiting his mother, when the rebels attacked. They crept in early on an October morning in 2002, about a dozen youths in ragtag clothes, carrying axes, machetes, and machine guns. A neighbor who spotted the beams of their flashlights screamed and scrambled for the hut where Josephine and the children were sleeping. “We are all dead,” she shouted hysterically, and the shooting began.

A rebel appeared in the hut’s doorway. He wore gumboots, a trench coat, and a baseball cap. He was a boy, really, no older than fifteen. “Where are yours?" he barked at Josephine. She wailed and the boy called for a rope. He and a comrade then tied her eldest sons together at the waist—Jimmy, who was fourteen, and Oscar, a year younger—and marched them into the bush.

Wilson was asleep in Kampala, and he didn’t hear of the attack until later that morning when he was at school, teaching. He left immediately and headed north. Wilson was no family man. He talked to me unabashedly about his many women—hardly remarkable in polygamous Uganda—and he boasted of fathering fifteen children, counting the illegitimate ones that he knew of. But Josephine was his “official” wife, and he loved the big messy family they’d made together. He took enormous pride in Jimmy and Oscar, who were promising, well-educated boys, and as he left Kampala he told his friends that he was going to find his boys. It seemed a febrile plan, but he could not be dissuaded. “We could see the violence in him,” one friend recalled. “There was a change in him,” said another. “He was heartbroken. . . . He had that self-blame.” Any father might have such feelings at the loss of his children. Wilson had something else, too, when he thought of his sons’ ordeal: he had been there himself.

During his last years as a bush fighter, in the late eighties, Wilson had fallen in for a time with the Holy Spirit Mobile Forces, a rebel army that sprung up in the north during the first years of Museveni’s rule, led by a young, Bible-quoting soothsayer named Alice Auma, who preached both rebellion and religious revival. Auma claimed to be channeling a local warrior spirit named Lakwena—the word means “messenger of God”—and to be in communion with animals, mountains, and waterfalls. The north’s malady, she said, was spiritual, and if only northern fighters were cleansed of sin they could easily defeat Museveni. Auma’s message drew thousands of recruits, whom she commanded from a thatch-roofed temple. She enforced a strict code of conduct—no drinking, no fornication—and instructed her soldiers to anoint themselves with a holy oil that, she promised, would make them invulnerable to enemy fire. Wilson, who was not disposed to blind belief, quickly soured on Auma’s crusade. To declare your forces bulletproof, he felt, was pure suicide. Sure enough, the Holy Spirit army was soon defeated, and Auma fled into exile, but a young cousin of hers, Joseph Kony, claimed that Lakwena’s powers had passed into him, and he started his own rebellion, which he called the Lord’s Resistance Army.

科尼威尔逊出生大约在同一时间,in nearly the same place, and as a young man he had found power in cultivating a reputation as a sorcerer. He was a lanky, dreadlocked former altar boy who wore white robes and purported to be inhabited by warrior spirits and imbued with gifts of prophecy and healing. He had a mesmerizing voice and messianic pretensions, and when he began the LRA in the late eighties, he drew support from some of the renegade forces of the old dictatorships who regarded Museveni as a usurper. But most northerners declined to follow him, and Kony, enraged, turned harshly against his own people. He declared that if fathers would not rise up with him he would take their sons, and kidnapping became the LRA’s primary means of recruiting. It was a fiendishly effective tactic. Children made malleable, disposable troops, well-suited for the campaigns of murder and mutilation by which Kony gained an international reputation in the nineties. Eighty percent of his army of abductees were believed to be between seven and seventeen years old—and for the most part he sent them to attack not an enemy army, but their own brothers and sisters.




He walked for days, passing through the flatlands around Amugo and the malarial swamps where the rebels collected water, then crossed the Moroto River and traveled on to rockier terrain. This land was barren, depopulated. When Wilson did encounter people, they fled in terror at the sight of him. In this area, any stranger was assumed to be a threat. He also encountered some children who’d escaped the LRA, and they gave him bits of intelligence.