March 4, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 11

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    Doctoral student escapes Rwandan attack

    By Amy Rust
    News Office

    University doctoral student and Fulbright fellow Elizabeth Garland was among those who escaped an attack by Rwandan rebels that left eight tourists dead in the mountains of Uganda earlier this week.

    She was flown to safety to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, after successfully hiding from rebels at her campsite.

    Garland, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology, traveled to Uganda to do fieldwork in December 1998. She had been camping on the edge of Bwindi National Park, known as the Impenetrable Forest, since early February. The park is known for its rare mountain gorillas that were featured in the 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist.

    According to Anne Ch’ien of Student Affairs in Anthropology, Garland’s research interests are in economic development, specifically the ways in which local people have become engaged in international tourism and conservation concerns in an effort to forge a future for what has been a historically unsettled region.

    Garland escaped the attention of rebels because her tent was in a more remote, less visible area of the campsite, said Ch’ien. In a phone conversation with Jean Comaroff, the Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Garland said she was concerned about the people she had come to know in Uganda. She is determined to remain in Uganda and pursue her project although the location of her future research is currently uncertain.