People's Peacemaking Perspectives

Building on the large-scale conflict and security assessment conducted by Saferworld in 2010, this analysis focuses on the Karamoja region of Uganda. The region has long experienced serious conflict and insecurity, severe poverty and low levels of development. Communities have been involved in cycles of cattle raiding and counter-raiding, including with border communities in Kenya and South Sudan.

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. Given its marginalisation and serious insecurity, the area is a particular focus for the EU in Uganda. The Government of Uganda has also stepped up its engagement with the region designed to enhance peace and security through a combination of disarmament, security and development interventions, with some positive and some negative consequences.

This study, based on discussions with local people, tracks how conflict and security dynamics are developing in Karamoja. It emphasizes that communities’ perceptions of safety and security need to guide decisions regarding civilian disarmament and security. It analyses national and international responses to these changing dynamics, engaging with a number of stakeholders to ensure that the analysis and recommendations are relevant to the key objectives for EU engagement in the country.

This briefing is part of the EU-funded People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project.


“All people must benefit from all government programmes. The idea of piloting projects will not work well with the Karamojong communities who feel some people are more favoured than others… these will automatically contribute to conflicts.”

Peace mobiliser, Napak District, Uganda