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The Social Dimensions of Post-Conflict Land Relations and Policies in Acholiland, Northern Uganda

Okot, Betty J


Betty J Okot


Since the Lord's Resistance Army's (LRA) retreat from Acholiland in Northern Uganda (2006), widespread land conflicts were publicised in n1any areas of the district. This its, the success of much of the resettlement process. This ethnography of relations over land and state policies, demonstrates how despite years of reforms, customary tenure in Acholiland, continued in practice. This study recognises, commercial pressures regarding customary tenure and urban and peri-urban land registration. In arguing that what is happening in Acholiland today is focused on people's relationships with land, the thesis goes beyond earlier studies of the war and its immediate aftermath. Most land disputes in Acholiland are very distinct and arc not widespread among kin resettling on patrimonial land. Major conflicts often arise out of a land grab by elite/ individuals, including foreigners who occupy powerful positions - the land grab is concentrated, in one part of Acholiland -- the oil rich areas.
Despite the violence and loss of lives, land disputes met with an organised response from some Acholi politicians and community, this appears to have prevented the alienation of large tracts of land. The cultural leaders under the Ker Kwaro Acholi (KKA) institution, often deal with a second type of prevalent land disputes, among returnees outside their descent group. Such community-level disputes, arc resolved successfully through traditional modes of mediation and the resettlement is progressing well, as people work the land. In Acholiland, land is the foundation for livelihoods, identity, spirituality and social security. These tenets, create a discourse and movement of revival around the land. Indeed, mobilisation against land grab in the district created a movement of land activism, which has been relatively successful. Hence, the LR.A war becomes, in the thesis a window into the past and a basis for connecting the present with the past and the future.

Publication Date Jun 1, 2017
Additional Information Embargoed until 01/01/2022. For access to the hard copy thesis, check the University Library catalogue.

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