The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence

The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence

The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence

The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence


Here the author takes on one of the most highly charged debates in modern science: the biological roots of bad behaviour. Starting with rape, and moving on to murder, war, and genocide, Ghiglieri looks at the male proclivity for violence.


There were dead people along the road, so my friends gave up trying to go to Fort Portal," Tedi explained. She had just walked eight miles through the primeval rain forest, a hike no Mutoro woman in her right mind would make due to its dangers. But her husband, Otim, was my game ranger, and she had come to warn us. The dead people, Acholi and Langi--both East Nile tribes--were victims of Idi Amin Dada's latest (February 1977) genocidal pogrom.

A Kakwa from the West Nile, Amin was determined to erase from Uganda all Langi and Acholi people, hereditary enemies from the east. President Milton Obote, whom Amin had deposed six years earlier, was a Langi. And Obote's tribesmen, all conveniently bearing surnames beginning with the letter O, could never be anything but enemies. For Amin, the only good enemy was a dead enemy. Our problem was that Otim was a Langi.

Only a dozen miles away from our tiny encampment at Ngogo, in the center of Kibale Forest, blood was flowing. Amin had ordered his army of West Nile rogues, illiterates, and sadists to eliminate all Langi and Acholi occupying all official positions, from postal clerks and school- teachers to district commissioners. His gangs of armed thugs were breaking into schoolrooms, offices, businesses, private homes, and even bush huts to drag off innocent Langi people. Once these people were outside, the thugs hacked off their heads with pangas (machetes). Thousands of Acholi were simply machine-gunned en masse. A dozen miles from our enclave in the jungle, entire rooms full of living Acholi and Langi prisoners were wrapped together with wire, doused with kerosene, and set ablaze.

That same night, Amin's censored Voice of Uganda radio network broadcast allegations that an invasion force from Tanzania (where Obote still lived in exile) had violated Uganda's borders and was being assisted by Langi and Acholi rebels under Obote's leadership. By defini-

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