Somewhere in the jungles of Uganda, there hides a fugitive rebel leader: he is said to take his orders direct from the spirit world and, together with his ragged army of brutalised child soldiers, he has left a bloody trail of devastation across his country. Joseph Kony is now an official enemy in the US War on Terror and wanted in Europe for war crimes, and yet nobody really knows who he is or what he is fighting for.
Intrigued by the myths, Matthew Green heads off into a war zone, determined to track down the man himself. Along the way, he meets the victims abducted, raped or maimed by Kony’s soldiers, the refugees living in poverty and fear in overcrowded camps, the mediators trying to bring peace to this desperately divided land, and the political leaders who have their own reasons for allowing the war to shudder on.
The Wizard of the Nile is the first book to peel back the layers of mysticism and murky politics surrounding Kony, to shine a searching light onto this forgotten conflict, and to tell the gripping human story behind an inhumane war.
Praise for The Wizard of the Nile
‘Matthew Green has penetrated the heart of one of Africa’s darkest wars in which thousands of children were abducted and trained to attack villages in Northern Uganda for over two decades. This is an important book, a penetrating insight into one of the worst conflicts in the world, a war in which African governments and the international community failed the thousands of children abducted, and the hundreds of thousands of people displaced.’Jon Snow, Channel 4 News
‘In a brave and tenacious investigation, Matthew Green brilliantly de-mystifies the hatreds and fears fuelling an African conflict in which kidnapped children have been forced to commit unspeakable crimes.’Tim Jeal, author of Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer
‘In his cogent, readable exploration of what must surely be Africa’s most misrepresented conflict, Matthew Green nails the comfortable myths and lazy thinking that have contributed to the devastation of a swathe of the continent.’Michela Wrong, author of It's Our Turn to Eat: the Story of a Kenyan Whistleblower
‘Joseph Kony is one of the world’s great evils. He should be stopped. This story of a real-life Kurtz takes us closer to understanding the inhumane horror of one madman’s war.’Sir Bob Geldof
‘Matthew Green has written a remarkable book – a gripping, thoughtful, penetrating account that goes a long way towards unravelling one of the world’s most tragic and least understood conflicts.’Stephanie Nolen, author of 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa
‘Tracking down Uganda’s Joseph Kony, one of Africa’s most bizarre and brutal leaders, is in itself a remarkable tale, vividly told in The Wizard of the Nile. But Matthew Green gives an additional dimension to this gripping account. He leads the reader into another world – of myth and magic, faith and superstition, as he tries to understand his quarry. What the author learns he passes on with insight and compassion, turning Wizard into far more than a gruelling search for the elusive Kony, riveting though that is. Green helps us understand how a seemingly pointless conflict in the heart of Africa has complex roots – part of a continuing struggle to reconcile old and new Africa, indigenous faiths and colonial legacy, past values and traditions and current challenges. And it’s a message and a lesson that applies well beyond the borders of Uganda.’Michael Holman, former Africa editor of the Financial Times and author of Last Orders at Harrods: An African Tale