Odong Latek

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Justine Odong Latek[1] was a brigadier in the government Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA). Following the victory of Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA) in 1986, Latek formed the rebel Uganda People's Democratic Army (UPDA).

On 20 August 1986, the UPDA began attacks upon NRA units in Acholiland. However, the UPDA was unable to wrest control of the population centers from the NRA. Following a 21 March 1987 meeting with the NRA, General Salim Saleh flew to the UPDA base and met with Latek, who is reported to have stated his support for the peace agreement. However, in May the UPDA replaced Latek with Angelo Okello, who had been commander of the UPDA Division One in Gulu. Okello signed a peace agreement on 3 June 1988.[2] A 1997 report states that Latek and several UPDA units loyal to him did not take place in the peace talks on the advice of the UPDA political wing in London.[3]

Latek and his followers then joined the Lord's Resistance Army to continue fighting. According to the recollection of a captured LRA commander, in September 1987 Latek met with LRA leader Joseph Kony, who appointed Latek overall military commander.[4] According to reports, Latek was killed by the NRA while in the Nyono Hills in 1989.


  1. ^ Commonly referred to simply as Odong Latek. Tim Allen, "Understanding Alice: Uganda's Holy Spirit Movement in Context" Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, Vol. 61, No. 3, Diviners, Seers and Prophets in Eastern Africa (1991) , pp. 370-399 refers to him as Justin, while sources referring to him as Justine include Richard M. Kavuma, "Ghosts from Nairobi 1985 haunt Museveni in Acholi Archived 2006-05-08 at the Wayback Machine.", The Monitor, 28 March 2004 and Lamwaka, Caroline. "The peace process in northern Uganda 1986-1990" in Okello Lucima, ed., Accord magazine: Protracted conflict, elusive peace: Initiatives to end the violence in northern Uganda, 2002. Given that English language names are often of secondary importance, the use of a normally feminine given name is not inconceivable.
  2. ^ Kavuma, op. cit.
  3. ^ The Anguish of Northern Uganda, Government of USA, 2 October 1997
  4. ^ After the Last Fight Archived 2005-02-17 at the Wayback Machine., New Vision, 25 November 2004