Night Commuters

History of Region and LRA

When the conflict was at its worst, the LRA rebels would attack villages at random: robbing families, raping women, pillaging and shooting. Nobody knew when the rebels might shoot up a village, and families lived in constant fear of being killed, and their children being abducted. When word spread that rebels were even possibly nearby, children fled into city centers to seek refuge in abandoned buildings.

Ugandan Girl on Night Commuting


Each night a string of villages was under threat, about 30,000 children left home for refuge in urban centers. Most night commuting took place in the Gulu, PAde, and Kitgum districts. Children, instead of sleeping at home, would take shelter in the city for the night and most returned in the morning. Often parents are the ones who endorse this nightly journey to the city, because it was simply safer to sleep away from the dangers the village possibly faced.

Extra links:

BBC Night Commuters Gallery

UNICEF: Children bear the brunt of Uganda's 19-year conflict

Children flee to city centers, BBC gallery

The World's Most Wanted Man
Abduction, Life wtih the LRA
UN and ICC Peace Efforts