Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

Uganda: Shoring up peace in the north

Publisher Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
Publication Date 15 September 2008
Cite as Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), Uganda: Shoring up peace in the north, 15 September 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d203d12c.html [accessed 19 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

NAIROBI, 15 September 2008 (IRIN) - Police reform, improved agricultural production and better mechanisms for resolving land disputes are among the prerequisites for northern Uganda's long-term recovery from humanitarian crisis, according to Oxfam International.

In a briefing paper released on 10 September, From Emergency to Recovery - Rescuing Northern Uganda's Transition, Oxfam noted that about half the region's 1.8 million internally displaced people (IDPs) had left camps for their original villages since August 2006, when the government signed a ceasefire with the rebel Lord's Resistance Army.

Consequently, "a transition is now under way from a relief effort led by international agencies to a government-driven recovery. But that shift is generating new challenges for northern Ugandans and institutional confusion among the actors working to help them rebuild their lives," the report said.

It called on donors to help finance a comprehensive police reform programme to eradicate corruption, provide better training, ensure salaries are paid on time and that more women officers are recruited.

Oxfam also urged the Ugandan government not to force IDPs to leave camps for their home villages, for example, through the selective provision of food and other assistance.

"The potential for disputes over land ownership [should be mitigated] by strengthening formal legal mechanisms such as courts and involving traditional clan structures," it said.

Citing a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Gulu University, which found that northern Uganda's IDPs suffered record levels of post-traumatic stress, the report urged the government and its partners to take this mental distress into account when devising programmes.

The report also explores how the Ugandan government and the UN have adapted to northern Uganda's transition from emergency to recovery, and points to "a lack of clarity" about the definition, coordination, implementation and finance of recovery activities.

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