The use of models is at least implicit in much modern historical scholarship. These can be economic history models capable of processing great volumes of statistics with predictive potential, or the more descriptive models that give form and shape to an essentially verbal structure of argument. This chapter will make use of, and assess, a model of the second type, designed to structure understanding of the role of information in civil conflict. An ongoing episode in the history of Uganda, the insurgency or banditry of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), 1986 and onwards, is the case under study. This may seem a strange choice of topic, but in fact it responds to a suggestion by Boyd Rayward that the history of the colonial wars of independence might prove interesting from an information-centred perspective.1 The author has responded to this suggestion2 and it is a small stretch to turn this towards post-colonial conflicts such as that in northern Uganda. An earlier version of the present chapter,3 used by kind permission of the editor and publishers of Information Development, did precisely that, but without the emphasis on the significance of the model that will be offered here. Part of the fascination of studying information seeking and use in the Acholi areas of northern Uganda, around the provincial capital of Gulu, is that it offers an information landscape of a bleakness that is in striking contrast to the lush natural environment of the area. Only the situation in failed states like Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is likely to be worse.
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