Understanding conflict and security in northern Uganda
30 May 2012
Karamoja is an arid region in north eastern Uganda, roughly the same size as Belgium. The cow is the centre of the value system of the semi-nomadic people who live here and cattle-rustling is a way of life. However in recent years the tensions between pastoralist clans in Karamoja have escalated into deadly attacks, fuelled by the vast amounts of small arms saturating the region.
The high levels of armed violence and insecurity have exacerbated widespread poverty and the region suffers from some of the worst development indicators in the world. The Government of Uganda has attempted to forcibly disarm the people of Karamoja. While this appears to have reduced the violence to some degree, many people feel that it has left them more vulnerable then ever and has failed to solve the underlying causes of conflict and insecurity.
We firmly believe that all future efforts to address the problems in Karamoja must be informed by the needs and experiences of local communities and be based on a solid grasp of the factors which contribute to conflict or peace. Over the past three years we have conducted several conflict and security assessments in the Moroto and Kotido districts of the region to influence peacebuilding, security and development actors to make their work more sensitive to the conflict and security needs. Watch the videos below to find out more about the research and what we found.