Beyond Juba

Building Consensus on Sustainable Peace in Uganda

Drawing on The Old to Develop a New Jurisprudence for Dealing with Uganda’s Legacy of Violence

Working Paper No. 1 Revised Edition May 2010

A transitional justice project of the Faculty of Law, Makerere University, the Refugee Law Project and the Human Rights & Peace Centre
The Beyond Juba Project builds on the participating organisations’ work on peace and Conflict-related issues in Uganda and is a direct response to the Juba peace talks between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army. The project constitutes three pillars: • In-depth consultation and training with key stakeholders including different branches of government • Research on critical issues relating to transitional justice in Uganda • A multi-layered public information campaign that reaches all sectors of society Beyond Juba is a three year project funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Norwegian Embassy.

The research was made possible with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). MOFA and SIDA fund the Beyond Juba, hich is a transitional justice project of the Refugee Law Project (RLP) and the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), all part of the Faculty of Law - Makerere University. On behalf of her partner organisations, the Refugee Law Project is grateful to the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST) for granting them permission to undertake research in Uganda. The research team comprised of Lyandro Komakech as Lead Researcher, Nsamba A Morris, Benard Kasozi Okot, Stephen Oola, Jackee Budesta Batanda, Angella Nabwowe Kasule, Paulina Wyrzykowski, Steven Petric and Laura Jobson. The paper was written by Lyandro Komakech and Alex Sheff with input from Moses Chrispus Okello and Dr Chris Dolan, and designed by Daniel Neumann. Special thanks to Livingstone Tenywa who provided logistical support to the research team in the different parts of the country.

Beyond Juba


ADF DRC NRM NRA LRA LRM ICG FEDEMO UNLA UPDM UPDA UPDF ICC PRDP GoU UNOCHA Allied Democratic Forces Democratic Republic of Congo National Resistance Movement National Resistance Army Lord’s Resistance Army Lord’s Resistance Movement International Crisis Group Federal Democratic Movement Uganda National Liberation Front Uganda People’s Democratic Movement Uganda People’s Democratic Army Uganda People’s Defence Force International Criminal Court Peace Recovery and Development Plan for Northern Uganda Government of Uganda United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs


Beyond Juba

Acronyms........................................................................................................................ ...........i Executive Summary ..................................................................................................................iii Key Findings...............................................................................................................................v Key To the government: General recommendations ......................................................................................................vii 1.0 Introduction........................................................................................................................ 1 1.1 Methodology ...................................................................................................................... 3 1.2 Background: The Legacy of Conflicts .................................................................................. 3 1. 3 Policy Context .................................................................................................................... 7 2. A Jurisprudence of Traditional Justice ................................................................................. 8 2.1 Cleansing, Cooling and Welcoming .................................................................................... 9 2.2 Punishment and Retributive Aspects of Traditional Justice .............................................. 11 2.3 Truth-Telling, Dialogue and Responsibility ....................................................................... 13 2.4 Material Compensation as Reparations ........................................................................... 15 2.5 Reconciliation and Forgiveness ........................................................................................ 19 3.0 Traditional Justice Today ................................................................................................... 22 3.1 The Contemporary Role and Status of Traditional Leaders .............................................. 22 3.2 The Relationship between Religion and Tradition ............................................................ 24 3.3 The Role and Treatment of Women and Children in the Practices ................................... 25 3.4. The Relationship of Traditional Justice to Formal Justice Structures ............................... 26 3.5 The Relevance of Traditional Practices to Abuses Committed as part of Mass Conflicts...28 4. Codification of Traditional Justice: A Three Track Approach ............................................. 30 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 34 Bibliography............................................................................................................................ 35

this research suggested five fundamental principles or elements at the centre of such practices in the three regions. the effective integration of traditional justice principles could make an important contribution to what Agenda Item 3 of the Juba Peace Agreement suggests should be the “widest national ownership of the accountability and reconciliation . the paper finds that there is no consensus regarding its relevance. The UPA rebellion from 1986 to 1992. to adultery. and makes recommendations about how to include principles of traditional justice into established law. 4) reparations (which includes material compensation). and 5) reconciliation and forgiveness. The paper examines the multiple legacies left by the interlocking conflicts that have plagued the Acholi. However. 2) punishment. and to what extent such practices must be allowed to remain flexible. The longest running episodes of violence remain with the Karimojong. the Uganda People’s Army (UPA) rebellion. There was less overt bitterness toward the NRM government. and the LRA conflict left a legacy of resentment toward the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government. Karimojong cattle raids. In addition. While the role that traditional justice practices will play in the transitional justice process and in potentially broader legal reforms has been widely researched and discussed within both academic and policy circles. there is evidence that traditional practices continue to enjoy a degree of grass-roots support and correspond to local notions of justice. harmonising their relations with one another remains far from complete. In Teso. who consistently conduct cattle raids in the region. 3) truth-telling and responsibility. Lango and Teso regions varied a great deal. it remains unclear to what extent these practices could address abuses perpetrated in the course of conflict. Yet.” This policy debate is part of a broader narrative currently underway in Uganda as the country struggles to confront its history of conflicts and moves towards a shared national identity. The specific nature of the traditional justice practices from the Acholi.beyondjuba. however. there was a lingering bitterness toward the Acholi as a result of the LRA conflict. The five elements were 1) cleansing and welcoming. and prolonged absence www. descriptions from all three of the different regions. The overlapping and interrelated nature of this multiplicity of conflicts and their legacies indicated a need to utilise justice practices that could be relevant and resonate with a wide range of communities to address conflicts both within and between them. To understand its importance to this process requires an acknowledgment of the unique and unusual transition in which Uganda finds itself. The legacies of conflict were slightly different in Lango than they were in Teso. Applying traditional practices from different regions affected by war. Ultimately. This paper aims to complement Uganda’s Justice Law and Order Sector’s (JLOS) on-going transitional justice initiatives and in particular attempts to demonstrate how local traditional justice perspectives may be injected into the on-going debate on national transitional justice mechanisms. The five common elements were expressed in a variety of practices intended to address different abuses ranging from intentional killings. and the LRA incursion which occurred in 2003. drawing on accounts of past and present use of the practices. whether or not formal codification of traditional principles into national law is desirable. In the Acholi region. Traditional justice also had retributive aspects that have not been focused on by previous research. Lango and Teso regions since independence. as well as. as well as. also caused devastation in the region.Beyond Juba Executive Summary iii This paper explores the potential role of traditional justice practices from across several communities in northern Uganda in a national transitional justice process. the Karimojong and the Acholi people. the legacy of conflict pertained almost exclusively to the conflict between the NRM government and the LRA. with feelings of resentment divided evenly between the NRM government and the LRA. From the research. there was a striking resentment toward Idi Amin and the damage his regime inflicted. how (if at all) they could be adapted for contemporary application.

The role and treatment of women and children in the practices. The relationship between religion and tradition. The relevance of traditional practices to abuses committed as part of mass conflicts.beyondjuba. While issues emerged regarding the scepticism and lack of understanding of traditional justice practices and traditional clan leaders on the part of youths. primarily when it came to notions of cleansing and. the following five major obstacles to their current use as well as their potential role in the national transitional justice process exist: 1. and while changing. The contemporary role and status of traditional leaders. 2. 3. Religion most often came into conflict with traditional practices. symbolic slaughter of animals.iv Beyond Juba from the community. www. the principles that governed responses to the basic abuses warrant examination because they represent a justice system that may more wholly express the values of these communities. and 5. The issue of how women and youths are involved (or not) in traditional justice poses one of the greatest challenges to any contemporary use of the practices themselves as part of a broader transitional justice strategy or . this was not the case in the Lango region where religion appeared to have deeply altered or in some cases entirely eliminated some elements of traditional justice practices. this proved to be less of an obstacle than has been assumed. particularly. 4 The relationship of traditional justice to formal justice structures. Women’s roles in traditional justice processes are minimal. The principles of traditional justice and the practices from which they were derived have contemporary use. However. and are considered highly relevant today. have been slow to do so. While the relationship between these abuses and those committed in the course of the conflict requires a great deal of exploration. Although religious beliefs were at times interwoven with traditional justice practices in the Acholi region and to some extent in the Teso region.

Lango and Teso. and could contribute immensely toward addressing both the legacies of the major conflicts in the region and day-to-day social infractions. there was both a desire for increased application of the practices at a local level. The question then becomes how the five principles identified by this research could be integrated into a national transitional justice process www.Beyond Juba Key Findings v The findings from this study suggest that traditional justice practices have both national and local . This therefore suggests that a multi-tiered approach to transitional justice with national. and their value highlighted the shortcomings of the formal justice process in its ability to deliver in an accessible fashion. and an implicit desire for the principles of this system to be reflected in national transitional justice and potential reforms in Uganda’s basic legal structures. From the research. are widely respected in principle. regional and local mechanisms will be necessary if the legacy of conflicts in the three regions is to be appropriately addressed and indeed if the national legal system were to reflect communal values. national mechanisms which have no local roots are unlikely to be sufficiently accessible or responsive to the needs of the affected communities. While a local accountability and reconciliation mechanism on its own would struggle to address the abuses committed by the Ugandan government forces during the conflicts in Acholi. though practiced with variable frequency. Traditional justice practices.

against the LRA. In particular. overall leaving perceptions of a juvenile legal system. women were not allowed to administer the practices. though there were some exceptions regarding welcoming practices which could be conducted by women. Of particular relevance to conflict affected areas. most respondents strongly supported reparations. both rural communities and members of the formal justice process voiced scepticism regarding the degree to which justice was accessible. The failure of that operation to achieve its stated military objective and its sudden withdrawal on the 15th March. www. therefore. The issue of how women and youths are involved (or not) in traditional justice poses one of the greatest challenges to any contemporary use of the practices themselves as part of a broader transitional justice strategy. the level of inter-ethnic tensions which lingered just below the surface of seemingly placid relations indicates that further dialogue and interaction is vital for achieving a lasting peace in the region. the allied forces of the UPDF. To this end. Current national justice structures appeared unresponsive to local needs and values. confusion regarding the process and the legal expenses required to navigate the court Beyond Juba Key recommendations To the government: The implementation of post-conflict transitional justice. and the void left by shortcomings of these structures were being filled by locally practiced traditional mechanisms. In designing a transitional justice process. women’s roles in the administration of traditional justice processes are minimal. and while changing. return to civilian administration is contingent on an end to conflict. traditional institutions need to be adapted by removing repugnant elements and allowing for a much more inclusive process. Indeed following the GoU commitment and readiness to implement elements of the Juba Peace agreements relating to it. . as well as. launched a military campaign codenamed. such changes have been slow. political leaders—in particular those in parliament and the presidency need to lend support and give backing to a comprehensive transitional justice process by ensuring that JLOS. On 14 December 2008. Access to justice should be enhanced by increasing funding for legal reform. the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS). Given the widespread scepticism of the Ugandan Government throughout the three regions coupled with the value that many respondents placed on the hands-on nature of traditional justice indicated that it should have a prominent place in the national transitional justice process. 2009 should be a clear signal that a negotiated settlement offers the best hope to ending the conflict in northern Uganda. Meetings between Lango and Acholi cultural leaders have already had some success in mitigating such tension but further efforts are required. From the research. has the necessary financial and human resources to not only design a national transitional justice policy but to also implement such a policy in earnest and without undue interference. particularly material compensation for victims of abuses. Operation Lightning Thunder. From the research.beyondjuba. A comprehensive reparations policy was seen as providing closure and clearly understood to be different from general post conflict reconstruction arrangements such as the PRDP. While post-conflict reconstruction was seen as necessary. clearly delineating and taking into account the cultural jurisdictional issues that exist between the different communities affected by conflict. who attributed responsibility to both LRA and the government. deliberate effort should focus on community-to-community dialogues. it was also perceived to be an indicator of governmental failure in its obligation to protect and therefore reflective of ordinary governmental duties. Views regarding who should be responsible for paying compensation varied among respondents. voicing frustration with corruption in the system.

beyondjuba. It is therefore recommended that bilateral and multilateral donor agencies scale up their assistance to the government ring-fencing resources for a national transitional justice process. www.Beyond Juba General Recommendations vii Given the colossal nature of the above . there is no doubt that the GoU’s meagre resources will be inadequate to pay reparations.

1 2 See Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearances of Persons in Uganda Since 25th January. 2007.” MA Dissertation. 1971 (operated from 1st July 1974 to 2nd January 1975) under the Chairmanship of Mr. when the new regime put in place another commission to investigate human rights violations committed in the country since independence. in 1974. Conflict and International Law: the Compatibility of Uganda’s Amnesty Law with International Standards for the Protection of International Rights. The second significant attempt began in 1987. Juba May 2. 2004. which in turn has sparked a heightened debate regarding the appropriate sequencing of peace and justice. While many Ugandans continue to mistakenly conceptualise the north as being the only part of the country in need of transitional . The full report of the commission can be accessed at www. in effect. including the use of traditional justice processes in addressing human rights abuses.6 This already precarious situation is further complicated by the International Criminal Court’s involvement in northern Uganda. including perpetrators of international crimes. 1973 (Decree NO. Yet. and by late 2008 resulted in the signing of a number of agreements including an agreement entitled Agenda Item 2 on Comprehensive Solutions3 to the Conflict and Agenda Item 3 on Accountability and Reconciliation (and it’s Annexure). The Juba peace talks between the Government of Uganda and the LRA. yet the country is at times described as being in an as yet incomplete transition from a one-party state to a multi-party democracy. it is significant since the commission recommended amnesty for acts of genocide and rape.4 While the full import of Juba needs clarification. justice for victims.2 While this latter process has since been dubbed as an example of ‘victor’s justice’ (Hayner.20 of 1973) Refer to Legal Notice No. American University. “Amnesty. Justice Mohammed Saeid.0 Introduction 1 To date. These set out a broad framework for a transitional justice policy. 5 of 1986 made under the Commission of Inquiry Act. took the form of a commission charged with investigating disappearances throughout the country. and anticipated more recent additions to international jurisprudence. and the severely marginalised communities of northern Uganda from where the majority of its members are drawn. Cap 56 of the Laws of Uganda. 3 4 5 6 www. 2002). Refer to Agreement on Comprehensive Solutions Between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and Lord’s Resistance Army/ Movement. Moses C.Beyond Juba 1. and renewed interest in domestic solutions to national problems. a complete transition process could not be implemented yet since the conflict in the northern part of the country is continuing. itself notorious for human rights abuses. in terms of efforts and policies aimed at ending the conflict in the north and shifting relations between the Museveni administration and rebel forces. The transitional justice processes now under discussion in Uganda have the potential to significantly alter the country’s political framework with respect to transparency. There has been no regime change since 1986. Cairo. the mechanisms currently being contemplated by the Government are national in scope. refer also to Estates of Missing Persons (Management) Decree.5 Added to this is a precedent-setting amnesty for all armed groups who renounce rebellion.beyondjuba.beyondjuba. and an understanding this government’s role in the current northern conflict and that of previous governments since independence. This was certainly progressive for the time. Some would argue that a transition of sorts is underway. all Uganda’s attempts at a transitional justice process have been initiated by the regimes in power and have not been accompanied by a political transformation or by wide-ranging systemic reforms in governance. and that have remained unacknowledged to date. it is indicative of strong commitment by the signatories to a comprehensive transitional justice process. particularly with respect to the relationship between traditional justice practices and formal criminal law. The first attempt. For a detailed discussion of the nature of Uganda’s transition please see Okello.1 This effort focused on the Idi Amin regime. started the transitional justice discussion in the country. establishing a Commission of Inquiry into Violations of Human Rights in Uganda from the time of Independence on the 9th of October 1962 to the time of takeover by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government on 26th January 1986.2007 Refer to the Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement. This in itself has numerous ramifications for the stability of the country. Juba. which began in 2006. particularly the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). and there is a corresponding inability to recognize the many different conflicts that have plagued the country since independence. For additional information.

This paper aims to complement JLOS’ on-going transitional justice work. to an uncertain humanitarian situation. failed to sign a final peace agreement and retreated with his forces deep into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). and makes some recommendations for including principles of traditional justice into the country’s formal law system.2 Beyond Juba The government has charged its Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) with designing a fitting transitional justice policy for the country. US $5. 2009 by Hon. this process should acknowledge the cyclical nature of conflict in Uganda--particularly the north-south11 divide--as a factor in the most recent round of political violence. it remains unclear to what extent these practices could address abuses perpetrated in the course of conflict.8 yet the process of adapting and integrating the proposed transitional justice mechanisms remains daunting.000. relations between formal and informal accountability mechanisms. Bbumba (MP). it examines the multiple legacies left by the interlocking conflicts that have plagued the Acholi. 7 8 9 10 11 Minutes of the Third National Justice Law and Order Sector Forum held July 30-31. In line with that.beyondjuba. and putting up barriers to national unity and reconciliation. It considers how local traditional justice perspectives may be injected into the on-going debate on national transitional justice mechanisms. 11 June. JLOS has demonstrated its commitment to this imperative by coordinating the efforts to establishing a War Crimes Court to try persons alleged to have committed international crimes in the course of the conflict. DRC and Sudan. the complexities of Uganda’s present situation. in the minds of all Ugandans. including further massive attacks against civilians in the Congo and elsewhere in the region. and whether or not the latter should undergo integration into national justice structures or be implemented at a local level.. the effective integration of traditional justice principles could make an important contribution to the Juba Peace Agreement. Ultimately. a concern reflected in Agenda Item Number 2. This effort was backed by the US government which sent 17 military advisors to assist the UPDF in its planning efforts and further subsidized the operation with one million dollars worth of fuel and satellite phones. Syda N. further engendering fears of domination by one or more regions and ethnic groups. What followed was a transnational military adventure by the governments of Uganda. thereby shifting the political dynamics of the conflict. The meaning of “transition”. Lango and Teso sub-regions since independence. This was with support from the American military. also present exciting opportunities for breaking new ground in current understandings of transitional justice and its role in addressing complex conflicts. Joseph Kony. Planning and Economic Development. Irrespective of these setbacks. and to what extent such practices must be allowed to remain flexible. Among other things. while fraught with uncertainties. In the most recent national budget. There is evidence that traditional practices continue to enjoy a degree of grassroots support and correspond to local notions of justice. The Budget Speech. and aimed at eradicating the LRA force within the DRC. the need for a comprehensive transitional justice process in Uganda continues. how (if at all) they could be adapted for contemporary application. particularly within Africa.000) for the recruitment of judges and facilitating other related logistical issues. itself is part of an evolving debate within the field of transitional justice and what Uganda does with respect to traditional practices and its emphasis on retributive and restorative practices could inform transitional justice practices elsewhere in Africa. the government has committed at least UGX 10. contributing. Enhancing Strategic Interventions to improve Business Climate and Revitalize Production to achieve Prosperity for All. Delivered at the Meeting of the Fourth Session of the 8th Parliament of Uganda. a JLOS forum organised in mid 2008 raised several questions regarding the types of transitional justice practices that need clarification.10 This concern is particularly felt by Ugandan Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who recall prior lulls in the fighting that were followed by brutal attacks. Specifically. Unfortunately the burgeoning transitional justice process suffered a significant setback in April 2008 when the LRA leader. Minister of . However. Ibid Socioeconomic divisions between the north and south contribute to the perpetuation of violence in Uganda.7 billion (approximately. www. M.9 To date. whether or not formal codification of traditional principles into national law is desirable. From a policy perspective. Financial Year 2009/2010. their combined efforts have failed to eliminate Joseph Kony and the LRA. 2008 (on file with the Beyond Juba Project) Republic of Uganda.7 Indeed.

Researchers used qualitative techniques.beyondjuba.4 of Agenda Item 3 suggests that the. lived through a cyclical history of conflicts related to national regime changes and local rebel movements arising in response. government officials (local councillors. clause 2. within ethnic cleavages aggravated by the British colonial regime. Pader and Kitgum in the Acholi sub-region. and in Lira district in the Lango sub-region. 2009. August 10th-28th in the Teso region. towns and IDP camps. While the role that traditional justice practices will play in the transitional justice process and in potentially broader legal reforms has been widely researched and discussed within both academic and policy circles. and November 20th29th in the Lango region. 1. Uganda as a whole.”12 This policy debate is part of a broader narrative currently underway as the country struggles to confront its history of conflicts and moves towards a shared national identity.4. the districts of Gulu.2 Background: The Legacy of Conflicts Critical to any understanding of the role that traditional justice practices might play in a transitional justice process is a comprehension of the conflicts’ legacies that communities feel requires redress. and district magistrates). 12 13 Juba Peace Agreement. regional and district police officers. The debate about how to operationalise traditional practices from different regions affected by war. including the role of women and youth in the various processes. 1. Amuru. “widest national ownership of the accountability and reconciliation process. as well as. while it seeks to address the importance of tradition in transition for the country as a whole. it is only able to draw on case studies from the northern areas of the country. and would benefit by being enriched with further case studies. how to integrate their relations with one another will be one of the major challenges in making traditional justice relevant to the transitional period. public defenders. humanitarian and other workers from various NGOs. The second section identifies five fundamental principles underlying the traditional justice practices across the three sub-regions. as well as. community elders. One important limitation to the paper which was pointed out at that event was that. A fourth section highlights some issues that emerge within current practice. the paper considers how traditional justice could be operationalised for the purposes of a national transitional justice process and what challenges are likely to emerge in the course of such an exercise. as well as. Ibid www. This paper is divided into four sections. Kumi. Agenda Item 3 (2007): Agreement on Accountability and . An equally important discussion will surround how what is done in the transitional phase will compliment and hopefully better compliment the formal justice system.Beyond Juba 3 Clause 2. The first is the introduction. and particularly the north. A total of 171 interviews and 34 focus group discussions were recorded throughout the districts of Amuria. A workshop outlining the progress of the research was conducted on 10th July 2009 in Kampala. The roots of Uganda’s conflicts lie. Interviews of key people were conducted with cultural leaders. employing interview maps as a tool to guide conversations with respondents. A third section discusses the status and relevance of traditional justice practices today including the role of traditional clan leaders and the relationship between formal justice and traditional justice. histories arising from ethnic tensions.1 Methodology The paper is based on research conducted between February 3rd-18th 2008 in the Acholi and Lango regions. The paper also incorporates key comments made during a presentation of its major findings at the Imperial Royale Hotel on July 10. experienced a variety of conflicts stemming partly from the consequences of colonisation and state formation. Focus group discussions were also held with other citizens found in villages. September 10th-27th in the Acholi region. members of the Justice Law and Order Sector. highlighting some variation in their regional interpretation. the people of Uganda have. as well as. Finally. Katakwi. in the post-colonial era.13 there is no consensus on how it should look and work in Uganda.” As a result. in part. Pallisa and Soroti in the Teso sub-region. which intentionally set different ethnic groups against each other and superficially divided the country into a “North” and a “South.

is a trail of human rights violations that remain unacknowledged in any comprehensive way. the war in the west of the country organised by the Allied Defence Forces (ADF) straddling the border into eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.beyondjuba. “a law and order breakdown with criminal elements — leaders of the rebellion stole and took people’s cattle to feed the combatants. along with abuses and perhaps even additional cattle theft by the Museveni government forces. however. lasting now for over 22 years. To ignore the need for reconciliation between the Karamojong and neighbouring Teso communities would disregard one of the most pressing challenges to peace in the region.14 As one respondent recounted. After the fall of Idi Amin in 1979. and the Acholi people. the war in Teso district under the Uganda People’s Army (UPA). The prolonged insecurity has left a complicated legacy in Teso. It has increasingly come to be seen as not only a local concern but a national and international one that affected the countries of southern Sudan. and a belief that the new Museveni government was not sufficiently protecting the region from the Karimojong. In Teso. accompanied by a loss of property.”15 This. a group of Karimojong raided the arms store of Moroto Barracks. the war in Toro/Kasese. and centre current debates on the northern conflict around whether the Final Peace Agreement needs signing. the conflict resulted in. The Karimojong issue was not only long standing but also highly relevant in the region. the Uganda People’s Army (UPA) rebellion. which began in June of 2003. and even vary between the Acholi. the UPA rebellion against the then new NRA government (a response to perceived or real marginalisation of the region) also had detrimental consequences for the Teso people. Karimojong cattle raids. and the Central African Republic (CAR). The rebellion was rooted in both a fear of retribution for the role that many from the Teso region played in fighting against Museveni in Luwero. This event is widely seen as a key marker in the transition from the use of traditional weaponry to the current predominance of small arms and a corresponding aggravation in levels and types of violence. But the rebellion of UPA (1986 to 1992) and the LRA incursion in 2003 have also contributed to the devastation in the region. psycho-social insecurity. and an ongoing humanitarian crisis.16 The LRA incursion into Teso and Karamoja. This militarization resulted in intractable violence and internal displacement within both Karamoja and Teso. the constitutional crises of . and the war in the Luwero Triangle. The northern Ugandan conflict. Although some believe the ICC indictments were only an excuse to disavow the peace process. who consistently conduct cattle raids in the region. which in turn prompted numerous military interventions in the name of disarmament. Interview with an Elder Pallisa Town 14/08/08 Beyond Juba www. involving a trail of human rights violations. The longest running episodes of violence remain with the Karimojong. and how.4 These conflicts included tensions around the Bunyoro lost counties. The latest peace process — the talks held in Juba from July 2006 onwards — saw itself mired in controversy as the LRA demanded that the International Criminal Court (ICC) lift indictments issued against their top commanders as a precondition for signing the Final Peace Agreement. which remain unacknowledged in any comprehensive fashion. Lango. was only the most recent conflict to a long history of violence. if at all. What they all have in common. At the core of these legacies lies a complicated and multidimensional set of resentments. one which various peace processes attempted – with little success – to resolve. Rather than develop a policy to deal with 14 15 16 Interview with Church Leader Soroti 17/08/08 Interview with an Elder Pallisa. eastern DRC. the Karimojong. remains the longest insurgency on the African continent. This history of conflicts and failed peace agreements has left a multiplicity of legacies that are far from uniform in Uganda. the new wave of military actions will resolve the conflict. In addition to armed cattle raids by the Karimojong. contributed to the depletion of the region’s resources. the ICC’s indictments raise fundamental questions on matters relating to the achievement of justice in Uganda today. and the LRA conflict left a legacy of resentment towards the Museveni government. all of which need some redress if full reconciliation is to be achieved. and Teso sub-regions in the North.

but it increased during Amin’s time.”27 Whether fair or 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Joseph Malinga. The negative peace that was achieved left no place for the voices of victims. there was a striking resentment toward Amin and the damage his regime inflicted on the region. explaining that “under Amin. but only if the elders come and apologise. Corruption got stronger. 1 (2008): Conflict. Justice and Reconciliation in Teso: Obstacles and Opportunities. focus group discussions and exchanges at times became heated over the question of whether or not tensions persisted. The war was started by Acholi. and responsibility for the LRA incursion is frequently projected onto the Acholi as a whole. and no proper process of accountability.18 The legacies of conflict were slightly different in Lango than they were in Teso. reconciliation.”20 Yet again.”19 The respondent later referenced Amin specifically when describing problems such as sexual offences. Dokolo 13/11/08 www. No commodities like salt were available under Amin’s time. Because the Karimojong conflict is still ongoing. While many respondents believed that the two tribes now “lived like brothers.. The previous two paragraphs draw on Briefing Note No.22 Thus. he explained that more dialogue with a greater degree of transparency was needed because “while the institutions have met.Beyond Juba 5 this legacy and the associated governance deficits.beyondjuba. UPDF recovers 57 guns in Teso The Daily Monitor.23 In the course of the research. explaining that “Langi might feel that against Acholi because Kony was Acholi. One respondent from the Lango region articulated this sentiment in his description of the Amin period. the LRA incursion has left residual tensions between Teso and Acholi. and the swiftness with which the Arrow Boys’ militia was mobilised in response to the LRA incursion in 2003. and peace in Teso is correspondingly more fragile than is generally acknowledged. Amin’s soldiers would stop to arrest you. They didn’t even consult us or our clan leaders and they should have. Parts of the population therefore remain deeply bitter over the abuses they suffered during the UPA rebellion. I was targeted for arrest. Indicators of this fragility include the reluctance of some sections of the population to cooperate with the on-going disarmament process.”24 Another respondent shared his belief that “the conflict brought a lot of tension between Langi and . then say you can get off if you pay them. and when I complained. the same respondent who had worked in a hospital explained there were “Bangladeshis selling drugs from the hospital.17 the incomplete demobilisation and reintegration of the UPA combatants. Furthermore. pg 7. but managed to escape.. however.” others admitted a resentment that persisted below the surface. but I am ready to forgive. There was less overt bitterness toward the Museveni government. the Ugandan government brought an end to the overt violence by negotiating with and co-opting key members of the UPA in 1992. The Acholi people in Teso were often identified with the LRA. and several individuals recounted stories in which they evaded arrest by self exile during the period.” and that he “used to receive cases of domestic violence [at the hospital] because the Army was everywhere. Interview with an Elde Lira 09/11/08 Interview with an Elder Lira Town 09/11/08 Interview with an Elder Lira Town 09/11/08 Interview with an Elder Lira Town 09/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 7 women. [he] hadn’t heard of much adultery taking place. This article quotes an army spokesman saying that some residents are adamant in refusing to respond to the disarmament process. the narratives from the region tend to pin greater responsibility for trouble in the region on Amin’s rule than on the current Museveni government. Teso communities on the border live in a state of constant insecurity. Ogur Sub-County. and reparations with which to achieve closure. Lira 12/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 4 women Aleb-Tong Parish Lira 1211/08 Focus Group Discussion with 15 people. things changed. 26 November 2008.”25 Reflecting on the previous talks between the Lango and Acholi cultural leaders. In addition.”21 Such negative accounts of the period of Amin’s rule were common among respondents who had lived through that time. recounting that “even during [his] time. we have never gotten any clear feedback. disagreements were common. One respondent put it simply. Aleb-Tong Parish Lira 11/11/08 Interview with woman Lira Town 09/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 7 women Aleb-Tong Parish. there was a lingering bitterness in Lango toward the Acholi as a result of the LRA conflict.”26 Another respondent from a rural trading centre and former IDP camp argued that the “Acholi should be held accountable because Kony is their son.

particularly because his actions were not sanctioned by the elders. As a result of these perceptions both the Museveni Government and the LRA were seen as equally responsible for the conflict and the devastation which it produced. just jumps into the bush to get the State House. cattle lootings were rampant. He heard their voices and they went to talk to him and they were chased and they were going to be killed. That boy dug his own grave and they were killed and buried there.”34 Kony was also viewed as highly responsible..”32 As one young man put it. with both parties provoking similar levels of resentment.(Africa Journal of the International African Institute) Volume 76 Ibid Interview with a man Amuru Township 20/09/08 Interview with a woman Gulu Municipality 22/09/08 Interview with Human rights Acvtivist Gulu Town 22/09/08 www.. half were killed by government. as Lango residents vowed to kill any Acholis they found in . One young man from an IDP camp believed that the “government [had] killed a lot of people. looting peoples’ properties. and the long running roots of this tension. A common refrain was that the UPDF forces had committed as many abuses as the LRA. Gulu 18/09/08 Interview with an opinion leader. In the Acholi region. This was also important because it indicated that elders could not bring an end to the conflict by calling the LRA out of the bush. My own sister’s son was taken.”33 One respondent went so far as to explain the LRA’s actions as an imitation of Museveni himself. which was foreign territory to the NRM/A soldiers. abuses by the new NRM government against suspected rebel forces in Acholiland contributed to the growing support for rebel movements.. both indicate that reconciling the two ethnic groups will require a process that is more than superficial.”29 Another respondent described her feelings regarding the parity of wrong-doing. half by LRA. Out of people that died in this war.. [they] claimed that they saw no other way of surviving than to join the insurgency groups in one way or another. wars of the past and War in the present: The Lorsd Resistance Army/Movement. This notion of parity between the abuses committed by the government and those committed by the LRA has vital implications for any reconciliation process which would have to include the victims along with both LRA and Ugandan government perpetrators.35 The sanctioning of the insurgency. Gulu Town 17/09/08 Finnström. One shop owner from Lira town described a period during the conflict when Acholis who resided in Lira town were forced to go into hiding to avoid mob justice.beyondjuba. the legacy of conflict pertained almost exclusively to the conflict between the Museveni government and the LRA. killings. however. this was done mostly by the government. So who should I forgive and who should I not forgive?”30 In addition there is a sense that the original intentions of the rebel movement had been rightly founded on a perception of marginalisation of the region by the Museveni government. Moreover.”31 In addition.6 Beyond Juba justified. 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 Focus Group Discussion with 6 men in Lira Town 15/11/08. why would they go to the bush if the Government wasn’t doing bad things? The LRA are partly to blame.. The sister and husband followed the following day. when I am a victim on both sides. “partly the Government and partly the rebels are responsible for the war. As Sverker Finnström noted. but partly they were defending the people of the North. Sverker 2006. “I don’t see why I should forgive Kony. rape and other forms of physical abuse aimed at non-combatants became the order of the day in Acholiland. The scale of the tension that lay just below the surface of supposed peace. “soon after the Museveni and NRM/A takeover. They have raped so many ladies. They were digging a pit latrine. removed people’s property. Interview with an Elder Koch-Ongako Sub-County. and Finnström explains that while “others did not explicitly support the uprising.28 It is important to note that these tensions were the result of events beyond the LRA incursion into the region. my brother by the LRA and his son was taken and burnt by the UPDF. My brother and his son were both killed. the belief that the Acholi people were somewhat responsible for the actions of Kony speaks to a sense of collective responsibility with deep roots in the region’s cultures and traditional justice systems. He explained that “Kony was trying to imitate power like Museveni. Burning homes. remains contested in some quarters..

” continuing to “still [hold] their ground that the Acholi had sent LRA to Teso. its multiple legacies of violence. Acholi cultural leaders had reached out and sent letters to surrounding regions to pursue meetings that could bring about reconciliation.Beyond Juba 7 Many Acholis also recognised the bitterness that Teso and Lango communities felt toward them. The government recruited people of Teso to join the forces. Some respondents felt that this resentment was unfair because. reparations and even the legitimacy of the current government have been sorely wanting.”36 Nonetheless. These unaddressed legacies leave open the potential for future violence and unrest throughout the region and foster an environment rich in daily civil and criminal disputes.39 Agenda Item No. and instead emphasised military solutions. and land wrangles. Thus far. the mere awareness on the part of the Acholi people and noted early attempts at reconciliation between the ethnic groups remains a positive sign that raises the possibility of further efforts toward reconciliation. 3 Policy Context This section speaks to the policy debate that has emerged since peace talks between the Ugandan government and LRA began in July 2006. Agenda Item 2 (2007): Agreement on Comprehensive . reconciliation. the breaking up of families. The country’s rich and numerous cultural heritages provide a number of entry points 1.] it was to fight the government. A limited process would not begin to address the residual tensions between the districts or between them and the Museveni government. www. which in turn led to an increase in defilement. While letters that were sent to both the Lango and Bunyoro led to productive meetings. and haphazard demobilisation and demilitarisation processes across the region. the five items signed in Juba aim to address the LRA conflict in northern Uganda. “when [the LRA] went [to Teso. there is a compelling need to explore opportunities for a comprehensive legal framework that can address and reflect peoples’ sense of justice in Uganda. delinquency by children. It would be insufficient to limit the scope of the transitional justice process to the abuses committed in the conflict between the Ugandan Government and the LRA. Agenda Item 4 (2008): Agreement on a Permanent Ceasefire. At present Uganda’s legal regime emphasises formal justice mechanisms directly derived from the British colonial common law model. Demobilization and Reintegration. and the manifest incapacity of the existing legal system to address these legacies. the Teso “did not respond to calls for dialogue.beyondjuba. and how other communities might find it difficult to separate the actions of the LRA from those of the Acholi as a people.”37 Despite these continuing challenges. Agenda Item 5 (2008): Agreement on Disarmament. One respondent from JLOS in Soroti town articulated the linkage between the history of violent conflict and contemporary criminal activity. Given the complex history of Uganda. Agenda Item 6 (2008): Agreement on Implementation and Monitoring Mechanisms. “all of these conflicts led to displacement. and thus increases in poverty. The multiplicity of these differing legacies of conflict and their corresponding resentments in the three regions indicate just how complex a comprehensive national reconciliation process would have to be if effectively constructed. as one respondent put it. 3 and the Annexure propose a framework for accountability and reconciliation that carves out a potentially 36 37 38 39 Interview with an Elder Gulu Town 16/09/08 Interview with a woman Gulu Town 22/09/08 Interview with a Judicial official Soroti Town 28/08/08 Juba Peace Agreement. not to fight with the tribe of Teso. Lango and Teso regions exemplify the legacies of unacknowledged conflict and human rights violations which have in the past—and may again in the future—produce cyclical patterns of violence. The violent atmosphere is fed by the remaining stockpile of weapons in some places like Teso. adultery by wives. The Acholi. explaining that. Agenda Item 1 (2006): Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities.”38 These legacies in particular are the result of a post-conflict environment in which efforts to address accountability. which enabled the discussion of a range of issues from interethnic marriages to the reality of killings within families. Agenda Item 3 (2007): Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation. a debate in which it is assumed that traditional justice practices should play a role in accounting for violations committed in the course of the conflict.

kayo cuk. In JLOS’s 2009 annual forum. truth-telling and responsibility. as a central part of the framework for accountability and reconciliation. While the relationship between abuses that arose from wars and related conflicts from those that do not remains 40 41 42 43 Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) (2007): Strategic Objective 4: Peace Building and Reconciliation. Justice and Reconciliation in Teso: Obstacles and Opportunities. and whether or not the latter should undergo integration into national justice structures or implementation at a local level. This said. Moreover.”40 The call for an appraisal of traditional justice may in part relate to the limited responsiveness of existing national and international formal justice mechanisms in addressing Uganda’s numerous legacies of conflict. Clause 3. there is evidence that tradition still enjoys a degree of local application in areas affected by conflict and that the values and principles embodied in these practices have a future role to play in national transitional justice mechanisms. These were material compensation.” despite the fact that the effective integration of traditional justice principles could make an important contribution to what Clause 2. Although these policy documents acknowledge that traditional justice practices have a role to play.4. the extent to which (if at all) they could be adapted for contemporary application. 2008 ( on file with the Beyond Juba Project Juba Peace Agreement. Education and Communication (IEC) and Counselling Program. Recovery. the nuances of their operation and applicability remain unclear.4. several questions were raised as they regard the types of transitional justice practices that need clarification. calling for a focus on “building informal leadership among men and women to engage with local authorities and civilians in the reconciliation process” through “localized conflict management mechanisms. These issues are heatedly debated in JLOS. While the whole enterprise of traditional practices in addressing “modern” injustices may go unresolved. Lango and Teso vary considerably. the ability of these mechanisms to address injustices arising from the conflict are unknown These issues are heatedly debated in JLOS tasked as it is with the responsibility to design a fitting transitional justice policy for the country. reconciliation and forgiveness. tasked as it is with the responsibility to design a fitting transitional justice policy for the country. This policy debate is part of a broader narrative currently being charted in Uganda as the country struggles to confront a history of conflicts and moves toward national reconciliation.8 Beyond Juba vital role for traditional justice practices. mato oput. five fundamental principles seem to be at the centre of each of them. and Development Plan’s (PRDP) Strategic Objective 4 states: “‘Peace Building and Reconciliation’ broadly proposes a place for traditional justice practices.4 of Agenda Item 3 suggests should be the “widest national ownership of the accountability and reconciliation process. relations between formal and informal accountability mechanisms. the ability of these mechanisms to address injustices committed in the course of decades of violence is increasingly challenged by the conflict’s own state of flux. The Peace.” 43 2. 1 (2008): Conflict. This and the following paragraph draws on Briefing Note No.42 The discussion focused on which abuses traditional justice practices could address. and to which extent they must be allowed flexible implementation at the local level. the manner in which drafters framed Agenda Item 3 limits their scope and presupposes that anticipated policy shifts will box in “conflict affected areas. cleansing and welcoming.1: Public Information. Agenda Item 3 (2007): Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation.beyondjuba. Minutes of the Third National Justice Law and Order Sector Forum held July 30-31.41 Although both Juba and the PRDP acknowledge that traditional justice practices have a role to play. “traditional justice mechanisms such as Culo Kwor. A Jurisprudence of Traditional Justice The traditional justice practices from the Acholi.” In addition to Agenda Item 3. whether or not formal codification of traditional principles into national law is desirable. clause 2. For all.1 of the Agenda Item states that. and to the way in which the broader colonial legacy of Ugandan law alienates much of the country from the existing justice system. and punishment. Article 4. with necessary modifications. Tonu ci Koka and others as practiced in the communities affected by the conflict shall be . www. ailuc.

Lango less so with Teso communities the least likely to employ them. an act which expressed reconciliation and forgiveness would take place.beyondjuba. or the return of someone who had spent time in prison. but also remained integral to response mechanisms for a killing or other act properly understood in the community as an abomination. where any crime committed by an individual was as much the responsibility of that entire clan as it was that of the individual. If the individual who committed the abuse had been absent from the community for an extended period of time. Changes in education and income earning were different within towns and they may have contributed to the erosion of cultural structures and values in these areas. Cleansing also functioned as part of a final reconciliation process to normalise relations between an offended and offending party. Otherwise. They were most commonly practiced as part of a process of welcoming. Rural populations had a stronger link to cultural practices overall. Lango. any situation in which a person might have simply travelled abroad. Cooling and Welcoming Cleansing practices were an important element of traditional practices throughout the Acholi. This was most commonly expressed at the clan level. as well as. Everyone who is a member of the offender’s clan. there is less access to formal justice in rural areas leading those citizens to turn to traditional justice as a more immediate response to abuses. the overall traditional justice principles are similar in both situations and express the values of each of these groups. The notion of cleansing was far more prominent in the Acholi region than it was in either Lango or Teso.45 Generally. There were significant differences as to how each ethnic group applied these traditional justice practices. The implication of this principle of collective responsibility was a behavioural modification process within each clan that used social pressure to discourage misbehaviour. Acholi and Lango communities referred to a practice known as “stepping on the egg” as 44 45 See section on Traditional Justice and the Challenges of Mass Conflict. Regardless of the reasons for a person’s absence. they found themselves less well articulated by town populations than those from rural areas. Today the procedure refers to the return of ex-combatants. and Teso regions. but was often linked to some quarrel with the community before leaving. but two factors are likely to have been relevant. Cleansing was most prominently connected with welcoming practices for individuals who had been absent from a community for a prolonged period of time. 2. regardless of his or her financial status would be required to contribute to any material compensation paid to the offended clan. Truth-telling in the form of a dialogue to discuss the events and to ask the offending party to accept responsibility would follow. while the five principle elements of traditional justice were expressed by nearly all respondents. This dialogue would help establish the reparations due the victim. The next step would begin with retributive action such as caning.Beyond Juba 9 unclear. stronger within town centres than in rural areas. See following sections for the variations between districts www. Acholis used it most often. there was unanimous agreement that there needed to be a cleansing upon their return to the community in order for them to be fully welcomed. Finally. it begins with a welcoming or cleansing ceremony. rural and camp populations knew more about traditional practices than town and urban populations.44 The principles found expression in a sequence of practices which are designed to result in reconciliation between the parties and their clans. The process normally begins with one of two principles. or spent a long time away from a community.1 Cleansing. excepting NGO advocates and the cultural leadership within towns. The second reason was likely related to the forces of modernization. The clan as a collective structure would be obligated to express responsibility for the crime before the offended clan. All five of these fundamental elements concerning traditional justice must be understood in the context of a common overarching principle of collective or community . the first step is to identify the responsible party and learn the damage caused. including those specifically pertaining to justice. In the past this absence could have existed for any number of reasons. First. Thus. The reasons are not entirely clear.

otherwise things might keep coming back to haunt them. 25/09/08 www. when someone stays a lot of years outside.”46 Another woman elaborated saying that the. Aleb-Tong. Cleansing as a principle was.”53 Cleansing was also closely associated with the idea of cooling one’s temper after becoming hot or disturbed.”49 There was a sense that a person may need to be rid of a burden both emotionally and mentally. they did not say a word.”47 In order for reconciliation to happen. sheep or goat. it means that those things remain there. Lira Town 12/1108 Interview with woman Gulu Town 16/09/08 Acholi traditional cleansing ceremony Gulu Town. in essence. “person would be haunted [if they speared someone to death]. it is slippery.which may have accumulated during their absence. as part of reconciliation. while in Teso the sprinkling of water was the only practice mentioned. that thing is used so that any other types of diseases do not happen again. The (pobo) reed is the traditional soap for washing”. A youth from Amuru district believed that he did not feel he needed to do the cleansing upon his return because he did not believe there were any spirits that could harm him. A clan egg before you will step on. that means to wash your heart.beyondjuba. this branch is from a pobo tree. However. Amuru Township. People’s perceptions of the purpose of cleansings embraced several forms.”51 Particularly in Acholi. though he did support the use of some traditional practices. As one Acholi elder explained in the context of returning ex-combatants.10 Beyond Juba the primary mechanism for such a cleansing welcome. Amuru Township 25/09/08 Interview with a man. and an indication that the two clans had put the past behind them. Cleansing ceremonies also remained integral to major reconciliation practices in the three regions. either because of things they have done or places they might have gone. but had not killed. sometimes [the family would] wave a cock around [the] returnee saying the 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 Focus Group Discussion with 7 people Aleb-Tong parish. you would find a calabash. 20/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 5 people.52 There was also a preventative aspect to the cleansing as a woman from outside of Kitgum explained that. If you step on that egg.spiritual or otherwise . some did not feel that this spiritual aspect was appropriate. were slaughtered as part of the reconciliation practice for a murder. “it is to symbolise a cleansing process. A man from outside Kitgum explained that. there was a spiritual element to such cleansings. and in Acholiland. Lira Town 12/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 10 women. sprinkle water with grass. Community members often expressed cleansing as part of the reconciliation process in the slaughtering of a bull. Lemule. As an elder respondent associated with the Iteso Cultural Union explained. before entering the house. so it is used to cleanse the returnees when they are received back into communities.”50 A young returned ex-combatant from Gulu district felt that it was important for him to perform the practice because. would be cleansed away. then they were defiled so that they were no longer clean. The two notions could not be easily extricated from one another. First and foremost. They were part of an initial preparation as well as a symbol of the conclusion. and were clean like an egg. “when they were abducted. where bad spirits responsible for haunting a person. The theme of cleansing was not restricted to initial welcoming practices. “the reason for stepping on an egg is that under Acholi. Koch Ongako Sub-County. and the water. the elder performing the practice explained that. A Lango woman explained that the slaughtering of an animal. Gulu 18/09/08 Interview with a man. “if [you] went away after [a] fight with [your] family.23/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 4 people. sheep. In Teso. but if an animal is killed then it washes away the memory. cleansings were necessary at both the beginning and conclusion of the traditional justice and reconciliation process. it is clean inside and out. with some accounts of the sprinkling of water on the returnee. not to think of those things. “traditionally [you are] not mentally proper until you step [on the egg]. or at times . “this is for welcoming our sons home. a sign of the ultimate agreement or reconciliation. Lemule parish. Alero Sub-County. was important since. cleansing was intended to rid a person of any bad “things” . Thus. cleansing was also necessary. Amuru Township. it will clean you of any short-comings while you were away. used to bookend the justice process. a bull was slaughtered at the final stage of reconciliation.48 As one mass stepping-on-the-egg practice for returning ex-combatants commenced in Gulu. “it removes something from the heart.

has been more common in Lango and Teso than in Acholiland. there was an aspect to the cleansing framed as welcoming individuals back into the community. Punishment. some reflection of this principle of welcoming and cleansing should be part of the national transitional justice process to facilitate the restoration of a national community. or that perpetrators of an abuse might remain agitated. A similar sentiment was expressed by an Acholi man in his explanation for why a sheep. and served as a necessary preparatory step in readying both individuals and the community for a further process of reconciliation. it is likely that tempers could remain high. 10/08/08 Interview with a woman Gulu Town. that [he] was the cause of this dispute. “a sheep has colder blood than goats. If transitional justice is to lead to sustainable peace in Uganda. Without such a step. a national process would need to create space for such preparatory steps so that communities feel ready to participate in the truth-telling and reconciliatory activities which would follow. One of the leading factors seemingly responsible for the cyclical violence that plagued the country is the marginalisation of regions that spawned rebel movements. It would be an error to entirely ignore the role of punishment in the practice of traditional justice. Caning was the most common form of punishment and was ubiquitous across the three regions.. the cleansing is an act of balance. A goat is [needed] when you shut your wife outside or when you are caught with a lady in the bush. It is less commonly practiced today. both mentally and emotionally. Soroti Town. like food from fire [needs] sheep. That which creates heat requires cooling to reset the equilibrium.words ‘oliwi moucit’ (let your body be cool) and wishing them health and peace of mind. One particular indication of this purpose was expressed in the Acholi practice of needing to step over the stick that is used to open the community granary. 22/09/08 Interview with Human Rights expert.beyondjuba. In particular this pertained to the slaughter of sheep. it is necessary to bring these regions back into the national fold. Gulu Town 22/09/08 Interview with an Elderly woman Atutur Parish.”56 Thus.things from fire [need] sheep. 14/08/08 Beyond Juba 11 www. welcoming them into the national community. though this particular association with sheep was specific to the Acholi region. Finally. Thus. he would be caned until he apologises to the elders that he will never do it [again]. The retributive aspects of traditional justice were often part of an initial community response to a given . It is this aspect of cleansing that has the most pressing contemporary implications. was used for certain crimes. “cold water symbolises the cool heart that this person should have.”55 The notion of cooling was derived from the need to cool the body when someone is sick and runs a fever. and any further steps of truth-telling through dialogue and reconciliation would be in vein. including caning. and remains indicative of what would need to take place for communities to fully heal from the legacies of conflicts they have suffered.” he explained. and not a goat. 2. could potentially lead to the marginalisation of the individual upon return shows a foresight greatly needed in the contemporary project of building sustainable peace in Uganda. particularly one related to a disagreement. noting that. Kyoga Sub-County. “Goats have warm blood. and could even lead to socially explosive incidents and eventually further conflict.”54 An elder from Acholi also linked the cooling to the use of water in some of the cleansing and welcoming practices. As a woman elder from Teso described: “If [the elders] determined that so and so was the one that started the problem. The connection between cooling and cleansing was common across the three regions. even after the conflicts ceased. In order to break this cycle. for. Cleansing and cooling were also important in restoring balance.”57 Another respondent described a more specific situation in which a boy 54 55 56 57 Interview with Cultural Leaders Teso.2 Punishment and Retributive Aspects of Traditional Justice Traditional justice has retributive aspects that have not been focused on by previous research. a symbol that the community is allowing you back to be fed by the granary that raised you. then followed by mechanisms that embody the justice system’s other elements. The awareness that any prolonged absence. Earlier work focused on the reconciliation component in traditional justice practices. which were thought to have cool blood because of their mild nature.. Kumi.

beyondjuba. 21/08/08 Interview with an Elder. other forms of punishment included the attacking of another clan’s homestead prior to a meeting to reconcile the two parties61. 13/11/08 www.12 Beyond Juba caught in the act of adultery would be caned until his father arrived and agreed to pay compensation to the woman’s husband or family. it doesn’t pierce him but makes it so he can’t move. punishment was a largely individualized element of traditional justice. The intended purpose of the incest punishment was not to cleanse the individuals. caning and other forms of punishment are always part of a larger justice process. Lira. “Prison gives some satisfaction and stops [the wrongdoer] from coming back and committing [the crime] again. As one respondent from Lira explained.60 Nonetheless. Some felt it served no purpose because it neither benefited the victim nor promoted reconciliation between the wronging and wronged party. He is made to be there in punishment like prison. a practice recounted in Lango for cases of incest. Ogur Sub County. like a prisoner. is partially responsible for social instability and the eagerness with which youths have been willing to take up arms against the government. indeed a prelude to other practices aimed at resolving the situation. there is reason for caution regarding any contemporary re-emergence of corporal punishment as part of traditional justice practices. Importantly. Yet the limit on how severe caning could be was often connected with community standards. and many respondents who spoke highly of the practice of caning were elders who also voiced disregard for formal notions of human rights that pertained to women and youths. One elder from Lira district explained that. Many elder respondents felt that the contemporary problems they faced with young people were exacerbated when caning became a less common method of punishment. The intended purpose of punishment was straightforward: deterrence. fuelled by social instability and dire economic circumstances leading to harsh responses to activities such as theft. or if the caning was more spontaneous.59 Several respondents felt that mob justice was a modern phenomenon. Either elders would officially declare the number of canes a person may receive.”62 There was evidence that imprisonment was not entirely absent from traditional justice practiced in pre-colonial times. 58 In some instances. particularly as it relates to youths. Others felt imprisonment carried positive aspects because it deterred reoccurrence. 09/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 15 people. The individual who committed an offence would be caned. caning was particularly relevant for misbehaving youth. 14/08/08 Interview with an Opinion Leader. An important distinction is drawn between such types of restrained canings and incidents of mob justice. “if the perpetrator is caught. Dokolo . Public restraint balanced the public shaming attached to the beating. 13/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 7 people Ogur Sub-County. He can only move within the compound [where he was caught] and he must stay until his family comes to pay compensation. before compensation [is paid] a sharp stick is put into the man’s leg so he can’t move. unlike the communal nature of much of its other elements. The important implication of these findings is not that caning should be brought back as a practice. Imprisonment – a concept not fundamentally rooted in traditional justice – provoked mixed sentiments in our respondents. Overall. the community reserved the right to intervene if it went too far. Pallisa Town. for a case of adultery in which the perpetrator and victim are from different clans.”63 58 59 60 61 62 63 Interview with an Opinion leader. 09/11/08 Interview with Local Council Official. as well as. Dokolo County. but that there is a need to further explore the belief that a lack of social discipline. but rather to deter them from repeating the behaviour. in which the man would be instructed to urinate on the woman. While caning was the most commonly discussed form of retributive justice. Lira Town. The line between restrained retributive punishment and mob justice was vague at best. not the clan as a whole.

but also the patience to listen to the views of the opposing side. however. while ordinary community members tended to report that elders of the two clans needed to sit with each other to settle on an account of what happened.”64 This meeting was often the first step in negotiating an appropriate amount of material compensation. The admission of what had transpired. As one respondent described. Dialogue and Responsibility Truth-telling was integral to achieving justice in traditional communities in all three regions. 2. despite widely articulated shortcomings of imprisonment.beyondjuba. “each side would be allowed to put his side of the story. An account of the events was exactly what was seen as necessary before any compensation could be awarded and reconciliation could be reached. Otuke . the forgiveness and eventual reconciliation between wronged and wronging party cannot take place. it appeared that truthtelling by name was more avidly articulated by cultural leaders and other advocates of traditional justice methods. but should be understood more accurately as a process of interactive dialogue between the offended and offending parties rather than a one-sided public . Without the admission of truth and an acknowledgment of responsibility. Otuke County. 12/11/08 Interview with an Amnesty Commission Official. That truth-telling was understood as a dialogue is a positive indication that such practices were at least intended to produce a mutually acceptable historical account of the events in a given conflict.”67 It is therefore vital to recognise that truth-telling and the acknowledgment of responsibility were necessarily because they allowed a process of forgiveness to eventually take place. 14/08/08 Focus Group Discussion with 7 people. The fact that many respondents were not entirely closed to imprisonment indicates a potential openness toward some form of formal court action and imprisonment as part of the transitional justice process.”66 The two parties were meant to be engaged in a dialogue. Both the offending and offended parties were meant to share their concern. a mutual understanding of the death. because within the clan there was a greater chance that the two parties might not stand on equal footing with regard to the elders who would be arbitrating the discussion. They could also ask for witnesses. 64 65 66 67 Focus Group Discussion with 4 women.Beyond Juba 13 Thus. Gulu Town. Chronologically a truth-telling dialogue would take place after both an initial welcoming or cleansing process and after retributive action. 26/09/08 Interview with an Elder and Family. As one respondent simply put it. It was fundamental to traditional justice practices in the three regions that both the wronged and wronging party needed to agree on an account of the events that transpired for a given offence. However. It was a process that required both the courage to admit wrongdoing.”65 The truth-telling was not one-sided. though this was primarily the case for issues discussed within a clan rather than between two clans. Like a judge they sit and argue at what actually happened. a notion further emphasised by an elder from the Teso region who explained that. “the first meeting is only to give information that this one was killed. Then they come to an initial understanding—Kwor—come to a compromise.3 Truth-Telling. Truth-telling and dialogue were also directly linked to a need for the offending party or individual to take responsibility for the abuse committed. Kumi. what made [one] person kill the other. nearly all practices had to begin with representatives from the two clans meeting to discuss the offence. Another respondent explained the process describing how the elders. Truth-telling as such was raised less by respondents then many of the other fundamental elements of traditional justice. 12/08/08 www. “sit like judges to figure out what happened. Lira. There were understandably concerns regarding impartiality in the truthtelling process. both admitting their responsibilities and listing their grievances. This challenge should be understood as a potential pitfall for a national truth-telling dialogue that should ensure that the various parties to the discussion feel that they are voicing their opinions in a fair and unbiased environment. Lira. it was moderately valued as a practice which was not necessarily as alien to traditional practice as might have been expected. and the ensuing discussion between the parties was intended to culminate in an admission of responsibility and a request for forgiveness. “the one who has killed has to ask for forgiveness.

particularly on the part of the returnees.. One man even felt that traditional practices. apologising for it.21/08/08 www. Otuke County. The general sentiment was that these individuals were not acting under their own will when committing abuses and thus did not need to explain their actions or motivations.”68 Returnees themselves also seemed to feel that it would be most desirable just to move on and think about the future. taking responsibility for it. despite some apprehension regarding truth-telling for returning former abductees. Many communities were deeply hesitant to require returning abductees from the LRA conflict to go through a truth-telling process. [we] need Kony to apologise. used [his] reasoning capacity. Abanja gave a public apology 68 69 Focus Group Discussion with 7 women. While the LRA delegation to the Juba Peace Talks did just this. while at other times it was discussed as a communal process. they did not wish publicly to recount their activities during their abduction to the community. Many respondents. this desire should not be an indication that truth-telling has no place in the transitional justice process. During that period the perpetrator would be hidden while the clans conducted the reconciliation practices because it was thought that the person’s presence might enflame the anger of the wronged .beyondjuba. “did not talk much about the killings. Yet it was also a part of traditional justice as practiced in pre-colonial times. the atrocities the LRA did because [he] knew that they would scare them. argued that abductees were “automatically” forgiven when they returned to the community. While a group of formerly abducted men from Amuria district cited confession of wrongdoing as an important part of traditional justice practices. There seemed to be an underlying apprehension about bringing up painful events that could trigger resentment from the community against returnees. Opinions varied greatly over its use in that context. there was a clear desire for further truth-telling. others felt that this process could also be carried out at a clan level with the clan taking responsibility. He just thanked them for praying for [him] to come back. could cut your nose.. Respondents’ opinions of truth-telling varied as to whether it should pertain to the individual who committed the crime or merely to that person’s clan. Furthermore. knowing that if [he] dwelled on that. people should just be allowed back unconditionally. In particular this was mentioned in a contemporary context when an individual who committed an offence might be sent to prison while traditional practices between that person’s clan and the clan of the victim might continue in his absence. there was a widespread desire for more senior members of the LRA such as Kony and other top commanders to make public appearances. the practices are just a waste of time. However. saying that he. fails to surprise from a psychological perspective. The fact that so many of the respondents who disapproved of the prospect of truth-telling for former abductees could also identify it as an important part of traditional justice practices from the past is a clear suggestion that it still resonates today. While some respondents described the importance of an individual admitting what they had done. An LC 3 councillor in the area who had himself been abducted explained why he did not speak about his activities during his abduction. that he could cut your lips. to see the destruction they caused and to ask for forgiveness. that Kony killed people like this.”69 This apprehension about publicly sharing their accounts. “If [we are] going to get traditional practices working. 12/08/08 Interview with Local Council Official. particularly from Teso and Lango. Lira. and promising never to do it again. This view was expressed by one man closely connected with the Arrow Boys militia who argued. a desire to avoid potential conflict or resentment by putting the past behind is a common coping mechanism. Truth-telling has been widely discussed as a potential element in the post-conflict transitional justice process in Uganda. Amuria. This fear of igniting discord was also the reason that the wronged clan would send a designated representative that was not a member of the immediate family of the victim to the first meeting.14 Beyond Juba Truth-telling and the acknowledgment of responsibility was at times considered to be an act conducted by an individual. people would get scared of that and [he] wanted to avoid that situation. “should not be applied.

For example. The soul still has power over the living. defilement and stealing. as was the case in pre-colonial times. “Acholi traditional justice depends largely on truth-telling” because there is a fear. Strong as the traditional spiritual elements of truth-telling and forgiveness were the complementarity between such practices and religious doctrine was even stronger. but also broadly cited as important to abuses such as adultery. 2. “we encourage truth-telling. then there can be no reconciliation. This is why truth-telling becomes the benchmark. The only difference between war and non war losses is the practical recognition that compensation as a result of war will take longer. the deep scepticism toward the sharing of experiences by returning ex-combatants expressed by both ex-combatants themselves and some communities. Gulu Town.”72 Thus. Notably. Many in Lango and Teso felt it was particularly unnecessary for ex-combatants returning to those regions. Furthermore. There also remained the question of whether commanders from the various parties to the conflicts including the LRA. compensation was also discussed in the context 70 71 72 73 74 75 Interview with a man. Whether the loss was suffered due to war or through normal criminal behaviour (cattle theft.4 Material Compensation as Reparations Compensation for losses incurred was the most important issue when considering the entire subject of reconciliation. the soul still lives. poses additional barriers to this process. 22/09/09 Interview with a Religious leader. posing a challenge to holding truth-telling dialogues. However. Gulu Town. “that after death. compensation for the loss must occur first. If [the perpetrator] won’t tell the truth. As a pastor from the Teso region explained.”70 A group of women from the Teso region specifically cited an acknowledgment of who had been killed by the LRA as an important part of reconciling after the conflict: they “should inform [us] of the number of those who were killed. the man expressed the idea that taking responsibility publicly for the abuse committed came about by pressure from a spiritual realm. and for a full discussion of the relationship between traditional justice practices and religion see the section of that title. Amuria. Lira Town. particularly in the Lango and Teso regions. saying that.74 These different motivations for truth-telling are important indications of whether or not returning excombatants. Interview with a Human Rights Activist. as an example). it may be up to the community to convince them to confess for the good of the clan or community. the military is seen as mostly responsible for the loss of cattle in Teso and to a lesser extent in Acholiland. others implicated in the conflicts will be willing to give full confessions of their activities.beyondjuba. no matter how strongly people felt about the need for such participation. it is likely that many returnees would not have faith in traditional or Christian beliefs that might lead them to confess.75 This was more likely to take place in some communities than in others. UPA. Soroti. 16/09/08 www. as well as.Beyond Juba 15 which was . and several respondents suggested this was an important role for mothers in facilitating the homecoming of their sons who might have spent time in the bush. 17/08/08 For a full discussion of forgiveness see the section below. Villagers wanted to be reimbursed for such losses before they would have an interest in discussing reconciliation and forgiveness. 13/08/08 Focus Group Discussion with 7 women. 21/08/08 Interview with a Human Rights expert. Initially. there is an element of religious confession in the notion that the true motivations of the confessor are as important as his or her outward expressions of truth and request of forgiveness.” one woman bluntly explained.71 Notions of confession and forgiveness may have been connected to both traditional spiritual and Christian religious beliefs as well. Compensation was often spoken of in the case of killings. Respondents voiced cautious optimism toward such potential activities for LRA leaders but there exists significantly more scepticism regarding the participation of UPDF leaders.”73 Thus. and UPDF would be willing to participate in any form of dialogue or truth-telling. You have to be careful in telling your story to be honest so people believe the apology. An Acholi man explicated the need for truth-telling and requests for forgiveness by linking it to a spiritual need.

beyondjuba. A similar thing was true in cases of defilement. “the bread winner is often the one killed so [you] need to support the family. because in Gulu a cow is worth more than that these days. an Acholi respondent noted that in the case of a death. 09/11/08 www.”79 This purpose of compensation as a means of addressing economic loss associated with the crime was particularly true for sexual offences. 17/09/08 Interview with a man. it may serve in some ways as a deterrent against future abuses. it is merely a symbol. if they left children. In all three regions compensation was less often discussed by cultural authorities than it was by other groups. “when someone is killed.76 However. As a respondent from Teso explained. because she would no longer be able to fetch a substantial dowry. As one respondent from Lango explained. If the head of a household was killed this would have been the case. one of which would be slaughtered in a final reconciliation practice. For instance. Gulu Town. Alero Sub-County.77 While in the Teso and Acholi regions the number of cattle required for compensating a murder varied. compensation came up relatively more in Lango and Teso than in Acholi. Views on the purpose of material compensation varied among respondents.81 It may have been the attraction of financial gain that led some respondents to present compensation as an alternative to the formal justice practice of imprisonment. Amuria. such as rural communities or NGO representatives. 76 77 78 79 80 81 Interview with a woman.16 Beyond Juba of contemporary conflicts. and he would have dowry for a new wife. Respondents also related this desire for compensation in defilement cases to why many families wanted such cases settled extra-judicially. In this case compensation was meant to respond to the financial cost of a crime itself. the clan would demand six goats. however. saying that. One purpose mentioned was to provide for a family that might have lost its sole bread-winner. suggesting that while it was not necessarily intended as retributive. Amuru. support should be given to those children for schooling. Lira Town. and particularly the LRA conflict. These range from addressing the financial cost of a given abuse to aiding the process of reconciliation. and the variety of intended purposes of compensation were invoked by respondents in explaining why this was the case.”80 Defilement cases such as this did. If he so chose. 16/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 9 people. in which the family of the girl might either lie about her age or request an exceedingly high compensation in out-of-court negotiations. Alero. while in Teso it was known as ailuc. Lira Town. In comparison to other fundamental elements of traditional justice. Gulu Town. As one respondent recounted. 20/09/08 Interview with an Opinion Leader. or at least her family. the husband could reject the woman and send her back to her family. or in cases of sexual offence it was intended to replace the dowry of a woman who would no longer be considered viable for marriage. because we would rather get compensation.”78 An Acholi woman articulated the same concept but specifically cited family financial responsibilities such as school fees. in Lango the amount was unanimously specified as seven cows. where compensation was intended to support the woman. in which one cow has been set to equal 500.000 shillings. “the most important [part of reconciling after a murder] is money to be paid to stand in for the deceased. Sub-County. Having a clear standard of compensation depending on the crime was an important issue. raise reports of manipulation. In a more personal expression of the need for compensation to address the loss of a family member. a respondent from Acholi believed that. In the case of adultery. it is about poverty and desperation. 08/11/08 Interview with a Judicial Official and Religious leaders. 19/08/08 Focus Group Discussion with 4 . Kapyelebong. the compensation paid in a case of adultery was known as luk. than get a man through the judicial system. In Lango. an elder explained that in the contemporary environment. four cows and perhaps some additional money. the purpose of compensation for the husband was essentially a return of the dowry that he had paid for the woman. The specific amount of compensation was directly tied to the nature and severity of the abuse committed as well as the intentions of the perpetrator. “many defilement cases have been pulled off from police.

Beyond Juba “When your brother is killed. So the traditional way is good.”85 Nonetheless the consolation provided by the compensation was an important step toward eventually achieving reconciliation between the offended and offending parties. An often cited example was the differing compensations awarded for intentional versus unintentional killings. 13/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 3 men. Alero Sub-County. and one complaint that was raised was that the contemporary court-imposed punishment for adultery was far too low. Amuria Town. Interview with an Opinion leader. Koch Ongako Sub-County. to the point that such meagre compensation could feel insulting to the husband. 19/08/08 www. and as such did not reflect the gravity of the offence.91 There was also some evidence that the compensation was meant as a deterrent for future misbehaviour by that individual.”86 Moreover. “compensation would not help. If he was alive then I would not be in this situation. 20/09/08 Ibid Focus Group Discussion 3 women . 13/08/08 Interview with an Elder. including compensation between the two parties. but it did leave a clan or family with something of value. As an Acholi man pointed out.”90 This was also true regarding adultery. Gulu.83 Another purpose of compensation was to console the family which had suffered loss. A contemporary reparations 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 Focus Group Discussion with 6 youths. Amuru. “compensation depends on the magnitude of the crime. others in the community. They will calm down. but nothing would be done to the culprit. He explained how when his uncle—a doctor—died. or to be hanged. 22/08/08 Focus Group Discussion with 5 people. 20/09/08 Interview with Local Council Official. Amuru..”82 17 Many other respondents described a process of complementarity between the formal and traditional process with formal judicial activity taking place in tandem with traditional practices. Amuria. 15/11/08 For a more complete examination of the relationship between formal and traditional justice practices please see the section of that name to follow. the agreement to a certain amount of compensation was tantamount to an agreed-upon truth of the offence. 24/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 4 men. the guy is going to suffer in the prison for seven years.”88 It may have been for this reason that some respondents noted that delivering compensation could take years. according to one respondent. “is just to please. saying that. “the act is not repeated. so it is better to get the seven heads of cattle and let the man free. Dokolo Town. A young man from Acholi believed that compensation. 18/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 14 people. instead of taking someone’s child to languish in prison.”87 This idea that compensation is integral to the process of reconciliation was further supported by a respondent from Teso who believed that. which is not enough to replace a person. “compensation is like a way of reconciliation and asking for forgiveness. as well as. One respondent put it simply. the motive and intentions of the crime were considered in the amount to be rewarded. as many as .”84 The young man was sceptical that compensation would be enough to replace the financial support that a family head would have been able to provide. One respondent argued that compensation was partly intended to ensure that. a person would. Kapyelebong Sub-County. Gulu Town. why do you need to take him to the police. “pay compensation to have a mutual understanding [of the incident].”92 These multiple purposes of material compensation suggest several things for the creation of a contemporary reparations framework in the overall transitional justice process in Uganda. and you are compensated seven heads of cattle.89 While there was little direct discussion of compensation as a means of punishment. suggesting that there were at least some retributive aspects to it.. Soroti Town. so that the community learns. “when compensation is given. Alero Sub-County. the person will feel comfortable that they have been compensated. It might not make up for the loss of a life or the other impacts of abuse. Lira Town.beyondjuba. As one respondent described.

and other losses”. at least [someone] should help them to study. A contemporary reparation framework will also need to be related specifically to the abuses committed throughout the . 93 94 95 Focus Group Discussion with 4 Youths Orungo Sub-County. compensation would ideally also serve as a deterrent to violations in any future conflicts within Uganda. one which would address the legacy of conflict. it should be up to them to pay compensation. While there were some calls for Kony to pay compensation. Amuru Township.”94 Other respondents were more specific in explaining that while several parties may have committed abuses during the various conflicts in the region. “it should be the government [to pay compensation] because it is their constitutional rights and obligations to protect the citizens so they must compensate. Compensation was discussed extensively in the context of the legacy of recent conflicts in the three regions. a government official stated that the government then was unable to provide adequate protection and therefore had to establish Local Defence Units (LDUs) and other militias. One respondent explained that. given that the situational reality may require the bulk of any material compensation be provided by the Ugandan government... The discussion of material compensation in the context of contemporary conflicts was sometimes mixed with suggestions of broader strategies for restitution to address the legacy of conflicts. “it’s up to the government to pay compensation. Perhaps some of the focus on these larger notions of restitution was the result of scepticism that either the LRA or the government would actually be able to deliver on any promise of individual material compensation for those who suffered during the conflicts. The major theme that emerged in discussions of the appropriate role for traditional justice. so as to serve as a level of recognition of what transpired. for a variety of reasons the government was still seen as the party most responsible for compensating the victims from relevant conflicts.93 As one Acholi man argued. as one respondent put it. It was the government and the rebels that the fight was between. as has already been called for in the Peace Recovery and Development plan. there is nothing. it would appear important that the amount of compensation be relative to the particular offence. [though] it was not the government’s fault. the government had a particular responsibility as the party in power to uphold its commitment to protect citizens. 21/08/08 Focus Group Discussion with 4 men. Furthermore. though seeing these reforms through will be a challenge of the utmost importance. Lira Town. because now they are helpless. These restitution strategies touched on education funds for children left without parents to pay school fees. One respondent stated. This would aid in reconciliation and could provide a level of consolation to those who suffered in the conflicts. and should reflect the gravity of those offences. However. which had left many families with no head of the household. The notion that one of the intended purposes of compensation was to address the financial implications of abuses was seen as particularly relevant to crimes committed as part of the widespread conflict in the region. suggesting that some form of categorisation of the different offences should be correlated to a level of compensation.18 Beyond Juba framework should seek to address the financial impacts of the legacy of conflicts in the region. but tended to be most clearly articulated by public officials. “for the lives of the children. 15/11/08 www. “there were some children who were left without parents. hospitals to address growing health needs. Discussions of these larger projects were shared by various categories of respondents.”95 However.beyondjuba. There may be several ways of tailoring reparations to do so including larger infrastructure projects aimed at restitution. and other development projects that would address the deficit in development in the northern region. 25/09/08 Focus group Discussion with 4 men. it is important to recognise a potential disconnect between this notion of contemporary restitution and the traditional understanding of compensation. but did see them as responsible for addressing compensation needs. Individuals may not have seen the Museveni government as the primary perpetrators in the conflicts (though some certainly did). Soroti. was that many respondents believed the government and LRA should provide compensation. Teso. The challenges will be how to accurately identify victims within the conflict. In any event. and how to identify the resources for their compensation. Finally. not civilians. this may be a particularly difficult goal to achieve.

The drinking of the bitter herb seemed less emphasized than other aspects of mato oput. often after slaughtering an animal.” 97 While some other respondents in Lango also included a description of biting charcoal as part of kayo cuk. While restitution might fulfil the purpose of compensation which is intended to address the economic impact of an abuse. the whole situation is now calm. [where] they ask for forgiveness and sit together and eat and dance. but when it was discussed. [which] literally means biting the charcoal. which is called kayo. kayo-cuk in Lango. “process of reconciliation.Beyond Juba 19 directly linked to the nature and severity of a given abuse. as it was by a respondent who described how members of the two parties. but were most commonly discussed in the context of killings. As a respondent explained. that compensation has been paid.. Then there is a bitter root of the oput tree.. and that is what they call cuk. 12/11/08 Interview with an Opinion leader.96 In Lango the practice identified with reconciliation was kayo-cuk. “drink from a calabash of oput first with hands behind your back [while] you knock your heads. 11/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 6 Cultural leaders. The practice of mato oput has been written about and studied at length. in the process. instances of their use were fairly rare. Lira Town.” This language is indicative of a parallel with other cleansing practices in which the cooling or soothing purpose of the practice was vital. While it appeared that the practices were still widely understood. they give the two halves to each other. The roasted animals are shared among the two parties. Reconciliation practices were seen as required for a wide range of abuses. And yet there exists a palpable desire for a role for them in addressing the legacies of these conflicts.”98 In the most basic accounts kayo cuk was described as the. and has to be eaten by the two clans.”99 96 97 98 99 Interview with a Religious Leader. and leaders will take these and share them. it was done so in vivid detail. 2. they select one big animal. The restoration of a relationship between the offending and offended parties was strongly connected to a process of shared eating and drinking. and when they share they are biting. These three practices have become symbolic of the broader systems of traditional justice and often combined several of the other principal elements of traditional justice. An extensive description of the practice was given by an official at the Lango Cultural Foundation: “On the day seven heads of cattle are brought. There is love and forgiveness between [them]. which is crushed and mixed to drink. one roasted by one side the other by the other side. Lira Town. A basic overview was provided by a respondent who explained that. certain areas are burnt. in practice. to prove that both [clans] will eat together. Lira Town. and ailuc in Teso. 07/11/08 www. it is an indication that they have agreed. “the sheep is brought because [it is] silent [and] brings calm. and then when done.. including sexual offences and assault.beyondjuba. It brings up the relationship. and then [the two clans] can come to unity. Reconciliation was also expressed most clearly through a particular practice in each of the three districts: mato oput in Acholi. it may or may not be able to address the reconciliation process at a local community level. most tended to describe the slaughter of the bull in recounting the practice. divided into two and then the two aggrieved parties roast. Gulu Town. which is slaughtered.” The drinking was also meant to be a “climax” that showed the acceptance of the bitterness of what had taken place.5 Reconciliation and Forgiveness Reconciliation in essence refers to a normalisation of relations between the offended and offending parties to a conflict.. cleans [es]. even more so in relation to abuses committed during contemporary conflicts in the regions. so they call this kayo cuk. and this is just to ensure that their relationship will become one. “the heads of goats and sheep are knocked together before they are slaughtered. 22/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with Cultural Leaders. “one big bull is . though there were reservations about the feasibility. Such a description was given by a respondent who described how. What we call alcohol is to be shared.” The significance of the sheep as the animal for slaughter was important.

It would be important to address this in order to restore a social harmony that allowed for the proper functioning of day to day life.”102 There is also an element of celebration in the feast. 20/09/08 Interview with a Youth. particularly in Acholi. “mato oput to me is perfect.”100 Some respondents believed the practice also included the act of smearing the entrails of the slaughtered animal on the bodies of individuals from the two parties.” 104 The fact that reconciliation practices like mato oput included so many of the various elements of traditional practice like this. An abuse of any sort between clans. A bull would be slaughtered. and then they would have a kind of sharing. was a disturbance in the relationship between the offended and offending party. they would no longer be allowed to eat or drink together. and compensating. 16/08/08 Interview with Opinion Leader. As descriptions of the three practices indicate.”101 The smearing was indicative of an element of cleansing in the practice as well. Lango and Teso regions. this notwithstanding. “for them to do the reconciliation. all the practices culminate in a coming together of the two parties to share food and drink in union. Soroti Town. then they drink and [they] dance in jubilation. reconciliation was closely linked to the activity of sharing food or drink. It could even involve rubbing part of the blood on the spot where the crime was committed. get water from the same well or inter-marry. and they smear them on one another in the process of seeking forgiveness while promises not to do it again. a slaughter and a feast that would be shared between the two parties to the offence. Once the practice is over. In fact it appeared that separating each of the principle elements from one another would be problematic. and there would be enough for everyone to eat. It is a time to be joyous over the end of conflict and the prospect for renewed friendship. to show that relations had been normalised and they could put the past behind them. Pallisa Town. Alero Sub-County. or even within a clan. and then they get the contents of the inside. they would have a feast. but. Articulated simply by a respondent from Teso. Koch Ongako Sub-County. When the two clans are rivalling. Mato oput was often used in referring to the act of cleansing.”105 The notion of reconciliation as a means of ending cycles of violence and achieving normal social relations remains perhaps the most widely appreciated aspect of traditional justice. [it] also [shows that] reform must come from the heart. they don’t share food. if not outright impossible. it was enough for one respondent to state plainly. an “animal is slaughtered and eaten. “involved the killing of an animal. As a respondent from Lango described. explaining that 100 101 102 103 104 105 Interview with a Cultural leader. children can’t visit (each other. While the details clearly varied between the Acholi. Amuru. they have to sit together and organise a very big party. and consisted primarily of an agreement. As an Acholi respondent sought to clarify. “if that sheep is slaughtered. In the case of differing clans. As one respondent described.14/08/08 Interview with Opinion leader. Soroti Town. the concept is quite clear: “coming together to eat is important. As an elder from Teso described it: ailuc.”103 A young man from Teso shared a similar perspective noting that. [you] can share things again. Gulu. “After coming to an agreement.” The intended purpose of the practice also seemed to show a connection between reconciliation and notions of cleansing.beyondjuba. One respondent put it simply. everything is clean between the clan members. The elevation may also have been related to the efforts on the part of advocates of traditional justice.20 Beyond Juba In Teso the practice most commonly identified with reconciliation was known as ailuc (though some respondents used this term to refer to acts of adultery). we are . The practice is notably similar to the common accounts of kayo cuk from Lango. 18/09/08 www. truth-telling. Lira Town. 13/08/08 Interview with two Elders. hence [there is] peace. may have been one of the reasons they appeared to be elevated above other practices that embodied only one of the other elements of traditional practice. 07/11/08 Interview with Opinion Leaders.

and the opportunity for all citizens to feel involved in this sharing and .”108 The practice could thus be thought of as a promise between the two parties that no further retribution will take place. then people excepted to forgive them. 26/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 2 Elders. Reconciliation was only possible when cleansings. Reconciliation and the forgiveness it ultimately made possible must be understood as a culmination of the other principles of traditional justice and the procedures through which they are expressed. Furthermore. If you have done something wrong I forgive you and you forgive me for what I have done. Lira Town. 16/09/08 Interview with a man. Soroti Town. As one respondent from Teso put it. a means leading to harmony. “would talk about forgiveness and reconciliation and [explain] that the forceful abduction was not their fault.”109 Most importantly. as clearly described by a respondent who explained that. include a symbolic sharing. people told representatives that they have forgiven him (Kony). Dokolo Town.” It is the potential to stop cyclical violence that has led even many practitioners of formal justice to herald the reconciliatory aspects of traditional practices as the most valuable part of traditional justice. “forgiveness on both sides. “main value [of traditional justice] is in reconciliation.”112 This forgiveness was also seen as central to the successful return of excombatants.”107 A respondent from Lango believed that the very.beyondjuba. it was important to have. 09/11/08 Interview with an Amnesty Commission official. 11/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 5 Cultural Leaders. “a bull is to be slaughtered for both clans to eat together.”113 Thus. it would be important to create a space for celebration at the conclusion of the national transitional justice process to recognise the new peace. what is important is not the payment. Therefore. They cut the bull into two as a sign that they will never do [the abuse] again.” Forgiveness was also spoken about in the context of larger events for receiving higher ranking LRA commanders.”106 Put in more specific terms. sort of an agreement that everything is alright. by another respondent this meant that. 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 Interview with an Opinion Leader. Interview with Human Rights Activist. Such a celebration should. is a sign of forgiveness and reconciliation. “the clans can marry and eat together and they become friends.. Gulu Town. 15/08/08 Ibid www. explaining that the community.”111 The reconciliation process was also inseparable from the need to forgive. It is not about revenge. It is a means to an end. 11/11/08 Interview with a Judicial Officer. and only then. A man from Teso spoke specifically of the. As a young man from Acholi explained. truth-telling. when LRA came here they held a meeting here in the public gardens. It is the normalisation of the relationship. One respondent noted the role of forgiveness in receiving ex-combatants. a sentiment noted by a magistrate in Acholi who said that the. moreover.”110 This has also been the case among many international scholars of traditional justice. Respondents often spoke in the same breath of reconciliation and forgiveness.Beyond Juba 21 for reconciliation to occur. and we go about things normally. while mato oput.. “we can start afresh. any contemporary application of the practices and principles of traditional justice would have to include all of these elements. “is perceived by international scholars as an end. Yet as a prominent advocate of traditional justice practices in Acholi was quick to note. Then. It is not an end. could there be the celebration that accompanied the normalisation of relations between the offending and offended party to a conflict. Lira Town. and compensation had either already taken place or were part of the final reconciliation. perhaps of food by the leaders of the several parties to the conflicts under address. It was also a symbol of a new beginning for the relationship between the two clans. forgiveness as part of the reconciliation process may need to have a central role in responding to the legacies of conflict in the regions. Gulu Town. but that all we ask is that he release the children he abducted. though how respondents related this to truth-telling was varied. “last time. reconciliation and the practices associated with it were a way to end cycles of violence. “Mato oput is the only way to stop the escalating killing. Gulu Town. “essence [of the practice of kayo cuk].

These five major obstacles are: 1. and may pose less of an obstacle to the contemporary application of forms of traditional justice. 4. though there were five major obstacles to their current use. others criticized some of the spiritual aspects of the practices.”114 Another young respondent argued on the other hand that traditional practices were. this fear is less founded than has been previously assumed. 15/09/08 Interview with an Opinion Leader. Respondents tended to cite one or more of three possible causes. Koch Ongako.”117 One of the major scepticisms of traditional justice practices has been the strength and ability of traditional clan leaders to hold the community together in administering the practices. by providing loans or other financial support in the community). The role and treatment of women and children in the practices. Amuru. Acholi youths had an exceptional respect for both elders and traditional justice practices. has declined. as well as. particularly in the Teso region. saying that. Alero. “not necessary because there is not really a spirit that can bother you. the latter’s ability to garner support through patrimonial means (for example. Alero. 2.beyondjuba. 20/09/08 Interview with a woman. there was a striking respect for the elders who would perform such practices in Acholi and Lango. In Acholi.22 Beyond Juba 3. A young woman from Lango said it would not even be a question if her grandmother wanted her to go through a cleansing practice. “it was important for my parents because they started doing that before. While some respondents felt they were very important to them personally. This research suggests that to an extent. Youth respondents varied somewhat in their commitment to traditional justice principles. youths were often able to give detailed descriptions of traditional justice practices.”115 Despite these variations. however. Lira Town. As the younger generation has become higher income earners than the elders. One was the clan elders’ loss of their relative economic power within the community. in how important they felt the practices were.116 Respondents often spoke with reverence of the wisdom of elders. 18/09/08 Interview with an Opinion Leader. and 5. “a source of knowledge” and declared that he “respect[s] the elders” and “would want to be an elder when [he] gets older to get respect. The relevance of traditional practices to abuses committed as part of mass conflicts. The principles and the practices from which they were derived find contemporary use. Amuru. The relationship of traditional justice to formal justice structures. even if she did not believe in its purpose. Even in Lango and to a lesser extent Teso. Yet we found that the authority of traditional leaders has eroded. The second reason is 114 115 116 117 Interview with a man. Gulu. and even voiced desires to hold such roles when they became older. The contemporary role and status of traditional leaders.0 Traditional Justice Today The five fundamental principles of traditional justice across the three regions emerged largely through accounts of how traditional justice practices had been practiced in the past. though this may have been the result of significant sensitisation campaigns by advocates of traditional . One respondent explained the importance of the practices for him. and are considered highly relevant today.1 The Contemporary Role and Status of Traditional Leaders While issues emerged regarding the scepticism and lack of understanding of traditional justice practices and traditional clan leaders on the part of youths. In particular. The young respondents varied. while in Lango and particularly Teso this was less the case. this proved to be less of an obstacle than had been assumed. 3. though their contemporary status was taken into account in the analysis above. or at least to their family. The relationship between religion and tradition 3. 20/09/08 www. The same youth respondent who doubted the relevance of the spiritual components of traditional practice also said that elders were. their potential role in the national transitional justice process. youths seemed to respect the wishes of elders and clan leaders to a significant extent.

07/11/08 www. 09/11/08 Refer to Briefing Note No.. This research suggests that there is less weakness among traditional leadership. it may be possible to secure both the trust and the authority necessary to better administer justice. I am not from this region.” either because of political bias.on Traditional Justice (Beyond Juba Project) Interview with Government Court Prosecutor. some respondents noted that there were wide variations in the calibre of elders. than among traditional leaders. One legal official from the Lango region described how he believed that: “the clan leaders know much more about their own people. they know whose land is this. we are here and we do not know the norms.”121 In addition. who is grabbing whose land. while LCs had been endowed with significant public authority in the formal governing structure. This seems to answer one of the questions regarding the capabilities of traditional justice practices. there were some more limited signs of the waning power of elders in Acholi where youths at times voiced frustration over being excluded from certain aspects of the practices.. and many communities seemed to find greater authority among LCs. 25/09/08 Interview with a man. which increasingly pushes the elders’ social role into the background. the general consensus was that traditional clan leaders were the closest contact with communities whether they were helping to implement programmes from the government. they are. or relaying information from the community to higher authorities. LC chairmen have considerable formal authority. there remains a level of trust with these leaders that would appear sufficient for carrying out the practices. Furthermore. while others were “not worthy of the title. but have little authority to enforce their decisions. than might have been expected. This dynamic was particularly pronounced in Teso. Lira Town.120 In addition to their importance for the execution of traditional justice practices.119 If traditional leaders are to have any role in the administering of justice at any level. remains the broader force of modernization. but are sometimes not trusted. but might be enhanced if officially strengthened. The third reason. The communities know how to solve their own problems before. By combining the two structures. 1. Lira Town. some Lango respondents also cited the success of the elders in drawing rebels out of the bush when Museveni first came to power as a sign that they could be important leverages of . though it was far more widely voiced in Lango and Acholi than in Teso. they know how to discipline each other. at least in Acholi and Lango. authority appeared to be a different matter. traditional leaders were also thought of as particularly valuable because of their extensive knowledge of communities and their history. While this is 118 119 120 121 122 Focus Group Discussion. they will require some form of support to strengthen the authority of their decisions. 10/11/08 Interview with an opinion leader.beyondjuba. As discussed above. some being very wise and helpful to communities. Amuru. particularly LC3s. something of an amalgamation of the first two along with other economic and social effects.Beyond Juba 23 the rise in education of the younger generations who no longer see the elders as the ultimate figures of authority or wisdom. to elected officials and ordinary citizens. Though this dynamic was most prevalent in Teso. This is occurring in several communities throughout the three regions. they know what their family lost and [who they] lost. While communities seemed to trust their traditional clan leaders. several factors had led to this erosion in authority among traditional clan leaders. which is the extent to which they could be relevant or applicable based on the potential weakness of their institution given the centrality of trust to their successful implementation.122 Thus. and thus. so we come to know of things through the clan leaders. or personal faults such as alcoholism.118 This reality may have resulted from the fact that the traditional structures have been officially reconstituted in Acholi much more recently than in Teso and Lango. where traditional leadership appeared most weakened relative to the LC system. One potential solution to the weakened authority among elders may be to explore the possibility of both traditional leaders and LCs participating in the local application of traditional practices. Clan elders enjoy more trust within the community. This was noted by respondents ranging from court magistrates and police.

11/11/08 www. Lira Town. “we saw this as the best way to resolve conflict as it brings people together. In Acholi the principles of traditional and Christian religious practices are consciously linked. “one spear is given to the perpetrator’s side.. because they might politicise or improperly take credit where credit was not due. a Catholic leader from Acholi who described the bending of the spear practice explained that. “all ceremonies that are not in conflict with scripture are okay. It just wasn’t believed to be necessary for a returning ex-combatant to “step on an egg” when they arrived home in many Lango communities. Nonetheless. One respondent closely connected to the Lango cultural leadership explained that while in the past a person returning to the community after a prolonged absence would have warranted a practice where the family “would have slaughtered a sheep” and the returnee would have been made to “step on an egg. Respondents. 22/09/08 Ibid Focus group Discussion with 4 Cultural Leaders. [and] they will be kept as a testimony. and tended to de-emphasise potential issues of conflict. now if the church or the Mosque can fight the evil spirits then you don’t need [those practices]”. because it was much more important for religious leaders to be there to pray for them. Soroti Town. compensation and reconciliation appear to dovetail well with religious beliefs and practices. however. Yet concerns for cleansing practices were often expressed without disdain or judgment.beyondjuba. 123 124 125 126 Interview with a Religious Leader. “the concept of appeasing spirits is not okay. and particularly slaughter of animals. it is biblical.”124 The respondent’s use of the word covenant is indicative of an underlying complementarity between tradition and religion of concept and even language in the process of reconciliation. often chose to emphasise points of commonality in the two value systems and their practices. including . Jesus already died for us. 17/08/08 Interview with Religious Leader. In one example.”125 In Lango. it was to fight evil spirits. put it. As one Anglican pastor from the Teso region. and then they make a covenant not to do it again with the signs to remind them.” even as he suggested he had a divine right to pray to God as part of a traditional practice.”123 He added that. The other principle elements of traditional justice. The one who was injured becomes open not to injury and there is no remorse. a sign of the covenant that they will not make attacks or seek revenge. Truth. and were already considered less formal by definition. [and] we say this is good. 3. another to the victim. particularly those with strong religious beliefs. who supported efforts to strengthen most traditional justice practices.126 The resistance was probably linked to the fact that cleansings often insinuated a need to rid a person of evil spirits.24 Beyond Juba a possibility worth exploring.. reparations. this was not the case in Lango.” because “that was the traditional way. Some respondents suggested that LCs could be problematic if they involved themselves in traditional justice practices. where religion appeared to have deeply altered or in some cases entirely eliminated some elements of traditional justice practices. [but] slaughter is not necessary. problems exist.2 The Relationship between Religion and Tradition While religious beliefs were at times interwoven with traditional justice practices in the Acholi region and to some extent in the Teso region. LCs were considered far more plausible than court magistrates as potential linkages between traditional justice and formal structures of authority. but rather with an air of irrelevance. Religion most often came into conflict with traditional practices when it came to notions of cleansing. In discussing traditional justice more broadly the same respondent explained that. certain traditional practices were either rarely practiced or at least viewed with disapproval because they were regarded as being in conflict with religious values. and it is also reflected in the Quran.

While some respondents believed all women could become elders if they possessed the qualities of good judgment and were of an appropriate age.beyondjuba. These men emphasised the roles that women already had in traditional practices.129 Perhaps the most immediately challenging aspect of women’s participation in traditional justice practices had to do with how they were treated as complainants in cases. This was probably related to the challenges outlined above. though there were some exceptions regarding welcoming practices.. While youths appeared to hold the traditional clan leaders who were the administrators of the justice practices in high regard. There were varying views on what would make a woman eligible to participate as an elder in negotiations. Many respondents noted the need for women to receive compensation because they may have been left as the head of their household due to the death of their spouse. and today when they can. Gulu Town. As one woman from Acholi explained. Women’s roles in traditional justice processes are minimal. there was no evidence to prove it. Many others disagreed. 17/09/08 Interview with an LRA Delegate to the Juba Peace talks. however. However. While there were claims that that was changing. the implementation is often done by women [even] as the men do all the talking. Predominantly. A respondent from Lango suggested that elders were “mostly men. was that the administration of justice is primarily a man’s role. but it [is] important to also have women” but the “involvement of women mostly came in if a woman is married to an elder and he dies so that she comes to represent him.”127 Other respondents believed women were involved in the justice process in less public ways. This came up most frequently in discussions of the possibility of compensation for abuses committed during the recent conflicts in the region. though this is changing. 16/09/08 Interview with Peace promoter and Women Activist. 17/09/08 www. and. others believed they could only do so if their husbands were respectable. Some young people complained they were not even allowed to witness the practices. Dokolo Town. women were not allowed to administer the practices. There was little evidence that the role of women was increasing in any meaningful way. There was a widely held belief that women could not directly receive compensation if they married a man from a different clan than their own. Youth have had virtually no role in the administration of traditional justice. Women were slightly more likely than male respondents to raise issues around the challenges posed by traditional justice. and the participation of women in the administration of practices or the inter-clan negotiations was the exception and not the rule. even if those roles were minor. This was rooted in a belief that women were not a full member of their husband’s clan.131 This fervent optimism was not always shared by their male counterparts. Many respondents differentiated between women’s inability to receive compensation directly in the past. the pace of change is slow. as women were more likely to raise concerns around their role in traditional justice. “women are the peacemakers.Beyond Juba 25 3. Gulu Town.”128 The fundamental theme around the three regions. Some respondents believed women could be part of the deliberations and negotiations between clan elders.3 The Role and Treatment of Women and Children in the Practices The issue of how women and youths are involved (or not) in traditional justice poses one of the greatest challenges to any contemporary use of the practices as part of a broader transitional justice strategy. many of whom were openly wary of any expanded role for women. These women often seemed to downplay the challenges they faced. there were complaints that they were often excluded from participating in justice practices. 26/09/08 Interview with a Peace Promoter. 13/09/08 Interview with an Amnesty Commission . Gulu Town. the issues specifically related to gender may have also led female respondents to be more open to criticising traditional justice practices. 127 128 129 130 131 Focus Group Discussion with 4 men.. or in some cases if their husbands were deceased. There was something of a reverse dynamic to this trend among female advocates of traditional justice. and expressed faith that those challenges were rapidly diminishing.130 This belief appeared to be changing far more rapidly than views regarding women’s role in administering justice.

133 Such efforts appear to have been fairly successful. the district police had conducted a massive campaign to educate rural communities on how. the confusion and legal expenses of navigating the court system. The Relationship of Traditional Justice to Formal Justice Structures Although rural citizens understand the need for a formal justice system. Often. believing that compensation for the harm and reconciliation. Nearly all respondents had a clear understanding of how to report a crime and why it was important. though it would not negate the need for practices that help communities accept those who may have done harm in the conflict. members of rural communities believed the formal justice system was incompetent to properly handle judicial matters.26 Beyond Juba let alone to participate in their administration. Lira Town. While the original intention of traditional practices. particularly cleansing practices. Significant wariness concerning the effectiveness and desirability of the formal justice process was voiced from rural communities about members of the court system. while there was a great deal of interaction between them in Lango. where. Two models for the interaction were showcased in Lango. were more important. and why to report crimes. In trying to understand how traditional justice principles and practices may relate to the formal justice process in the future. Even those youths who did not have a particularly strong personal connection to the practices felt strongly that. There was little cooperation or interaction between the systems in Teso. 07/11/08 Interview with Government Prosecutors. and the practice may be most effective in allowing the community to heal and recover more than helping the individual. The most common frustrations mentioned were of corruption in the police force. the mishandling of evidence. Overall. The degree of interaction between the formal and traditional justice systems varied between the three districts. then it was important to them. for instance. Commitments to the formal justice system may have been strengthened by extensive ongoing sensitisation campaigns. Except in Teso. Elders justified the exclusion of youths from witnessing some of the practices on the grounds that they may imitate mock fighting often incorporated into the practices. Traditional practices might also simultaneously be invoked so that traditional justice could take place in tandem with the formal process. this purpose may have shifted in the contemporary context. which might need to be addressed by some form of psychological counselling that youths might find more identifiable. This was not without reason. and what models already exist for their relationship.134 Many respondents also felt that the formal justice system’s use of imprisonment was the wrong answer. 10/11/08 www. LCs were the first response to abuses ranging from theft. This may leave a gap regarding the treatment of perpetrators such as returning ex-combatants.beyondjuba. according to both elders and youths who explained that it required wisdom and experience to conduct justice practices and negotiate between clans in conflict. if it was important for their family and community for them to go through the practices. Yet. Many respondents from all three regions were unequivocal in their belief that the formal justice system would always regard day-to-day criminal matters as more important than traditional justice practices. to murder to adultery or defilement132. Some JLOS members sympathised owning to a lack of medical experts to testify in rape or defilement cases. the commitment of many youths to the practice of traditional justice was striking. Lira Town. incompetence in blood work analysis and for other reasons. Lira . 3. and the fact that reported cases either took a long time for resolution or did not result in conviction. because it would allow them to be fully accepted back into the community. it is vital to understand how the two relate to one another now. particularly in Acholi and Lango. many youthful ex-combatants wanted to be subjected to traditional justice mechanisms. they do not understand how it relates to the traditional one. The first focused on clan or traditional leaders as witnesses in 132 133 134 Focus Group Discussion with 10 people in Aleb-Tong Parish. This commitment may largely be the result of sensitisation campaigns aimed at educating the populations on the practice of traditional justice. 12/11/08 Interview with a Police Officer.4. despite all of these barriers. offered to rehabilitate and mentally heal a perpetrator. In Lango.

we summon them to come and testify. rape.141 In addition. and to see if the two sides could reach an agreement with one another. some people.”137 This type of interaction between the formal and traditional system was almost like a referral.140 There were also accounts of LCs helping to organise some traditional practices. “poor people have to go to court. who argued that. They do not have the rights of the girl in mind. and some respondents believed they were present just to provide formal documentation of the return of an ex-combatant. Lira Town. 10/11/08 Interview with an Opinion Leader. and then we try to contact that person to encourage them to accept the process. The reason for attempting such meetings was to determine the real underlying issues that led to the dispute.135 In this model. Amuru. The prison also writes letters asking for forgiveness. Some respondents believed it was illegal to settle cases such as murder outside the formal system. Magistrates conducted informal mediation sessions in clan disputes. As a magistrate in the Lira court system said.” In this process. A meeting would be held in the magistrates’ chambers before the case went to trial to determine if the two parties could successfully restore harmony. and defilement were not supposed to be settled outside the formal justice system. This process. but with extensive involvement on both sides. particularly in Lango. Gulu. to prove the existence of certain motives. even though it was done in some communities. (The prison authorities) tried to help with the reconciliation part (by having the) welfare and rehabilitation department try to talk to the prisoner to encourage them to reconcile. 10/11/08 Ibid Interview with Prison Officer.”139 LCs also functioned as enforcers and authority-givers in traditional rulings around the three regions.Beyond Juba 27 courts. Alero Sub-County. Capital offences such as murder. 20/09/08 www. As a woman from Lango understood it. The welfare officer then “goes and takes the letter. The purpose of their presence was not always clear. known as alternative dispute resolution took place almost exclusively for civil suits. but some still do it illegally. Respondents often recounted that LCs might be present at traditional practices ranging from negotiations over compensation to the welcoming back of returning ex-combatants. and tries to convince” the offended . “have stopped [paying compensation extra-judicially] because the government. served as important contributors to the formal justice process. Nonetheless. 15/1/08 Interview with Government Prosecutors.136 The prison system in Lira district also worked with notions of mediation.” or if someone “did not pay a certain dowry” then they would help determine if there was a breach of marriage. public officials 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 Interview with a senior Judicial Officer. Koch Ongako Sub-County. traditional leaders. but their role was intentionally minimised. such as when an LC from the Acholi region helped bring the paramount chief of Acholi to the sub-county to help resolve a dispute. Lawyers were part of this process. Lira Town. 18/09/08 Interview with Local Council Official Level 3. The second model for interaction focused on the formal system’s use of the traditional practice of mediation both in courts and the prison system.beyondjuba. while wealthy [people] can buy off the family of a girl [who was the victim of defilement]. explaining that “otherwise [the prisoner] will just keep offending. because of their valuable knowledge of communities. they come to arrest you. Lira Town. the formal system also posed impediments to traditional justice. “If we need the traditional leadership. The superintendent of Lira prison explained their extensive process for supporting reconciliation between the prisoners and the parties they wronged. but within the framework and principles of that process. 11/11/08 Focus Group Discussion with 4 young men Lira Town. when they hear. at a group cleansing practice in Gulu.” If the offended person doesn’t go through this then the person would still be bitter. aided by traditional justice leaders to aid the return of inmates to their communities.”138 The reason for some of these limitations on the use of traditional justice was explained by a respondent from the JLOS. the “welfare officer would also work with the LC and traditional clan leaders who help convince their people to accept it.

Some suggested that multi-party negotiations between clans over a complex web of crimes were not uncommon and even in contemporary use.5 The Relevance of Traditional Practices to Abuses Committed as part of Mass Conflicts What role. Reconciliation practices such as mato oput. The question of whether traditional practices can deal with war induced crimes was raised by several respondents. to the general population. though they also posed challenges. a common reality for many of the communities who suffered losses during the contemporary conflicts. they tended to take unfair credit for a process that they had little to do with. The conflicts involved three or four parties ranging from the LRA. This was particularly clear during the group cleansing practice when many of the officials gave highly politicised speeches that did not complement the spirit of welcoming and cleansing that the practice was intended to provide. rape.142 Additionally. All of these potential challenges are important to recognise and explore. etc. While the Acholi discussed a particular practice—bending of the spear— to address such inter-tribal crimes. so that an offender would be subject to the justice practices of the place where he committed the abuse. but rather as indications of where practices may need to be revised. however. 07/11/08 www. Ultimately. arson. Though there may have been some rules to govern the warfare. they should not be interpreted as death knells for the potential direct operation of traditional justice practices.143 3. Lira Town. some respondents claimed that when LCs were included in traditional practices. there did not appear to be a mechanism for ending the conflict peacefully in pre-colonial times.). if any. there did seem to be an agreement between all the regions that there were fairly standard rules of jurisdiction when it came to historical use of traditional practices. as in those previously mentioned. The lack of unified practices for addressing intertribal conflict or abuses is particularly challenging today when abuses conducted during the complex web of conflicts have involved many members of one ethnic group committing crimes in communities from different groups. but not between tribes. none of these challenges appeared to pose obstacles to the major principles of traditional justice.28 Beyond Juba ranging from LCs to army commanders were on hand to speak about the significance of the return. . do traditional justice mechanisms have in aiding the transition from mass violence in the northern conflict? This research certainly confirmed that traditional justice practices have been historically used to address ‘ordinary’ or daily criminal and civil conflicts—both large and small—and not conflicts arising from war. In this case. it appeared that the presence of public officials at traditional practices seemed to lend the practices added authority. There were also potential issues regarding the complexity of the abuses committed throughout the relevant conflicts. While many of the elements of “war” crimes are the same as for crimes committed outside of war (murder. there were no equivalent practices in the Teso and Lango region where most respondents felt that pre-colonial conflicts were settled simply by the emergence of a victor. the motives and gravity of the offences are often very different in war. UPDF. 16/09/08 Interview with an NGO Worker. The traditional justice practices appeared not to be designed to address crimes in which only the victim or only the perpetrators were known. kayo cuk and ailuc 142 143 Ethnographic observation study. This lack of common practices for resolving or reconciling inter-ethnic or other larger scale conflicts poses a particular problem for translating traditional justice into a modern context to address the legacies of recent conflict in the three regions. The clearest challenge in translating traditional justice for national reconciliation was that traditional justice practices were originally intended to address daily individual abuses either within or between clans. and often individuals may be both. suggesting that the integration of the principles into a larger national system would pose less of a challenge in this respect than the application of traditional justice at a local level. Gulu Town. local militias. Defining any of these groups as victims or perpetrators is difficult. all playing a role.

the major principles of those practices—reconciliation and forgiveness. and are an important response to the marginalisation of the region. While this research suggested that the direct and local application of traditional justice practices might be insufficient as the only mechanism for addressing the abuses committed as part of the major conflicts in the regions. “the government should be compensating for crimes by the LRA.”144 Yet. While broader issues of development certainly have their place in the war recovery efforts throughout the north. [there is] nothing to be done for these other issues [of] rape [and] property destruction”145 Thus. others felt that it was primarily the responsibility of the government because they failed in their responsibility to protect the communities. though there was at least one description of how a mato oput practice could be conducted without the presence of the victim’s party. then it is useless. would be insufficient. at least. locally constituted traditional practices alone are unlikely to be sufficient for addressing the legacies of conflict in the region. If the clan of the victim is not interested. was related to what they felt was absent from either previous attempts at regional peace and the formal justice system as discussed above. an investment that was culturally and historically rooted. 12/11/08 www.beyondjuba. and more a sense that the formal court system alone. Many respondents. Alero Sub-County. Amuru Township. While many felt that both the LRA and the government should pay for compensation. not without significant changes. or a fact finding commission such as the one created to assess the wars in Luwero. As one Acholi respondent explained. 144 145 146 Focus Group Discussion with 5 men. while also acknowledging some responsibility by the government that it did not fulfil its constitutional obligation to protect the community. truth-telling and responsibility. material compensation. The most difficult aspect of traditional justice to translate into contemporary use might be that of material compensation. and cleansing—were desired by communities to be a part of the response to those conflicts. including ardent advocates for traditional justice. were strikingly open about the challenges this posed.Beyond Juba 29 were not widely considered to be possible in cases in which either the offended or offending party was unknown. Amuru.”146 It will therefore be important for material compensation to be both directly related to the abuses committed. only the victim or only the perpetrator might be known in a given community. The desire for these principles to have a greater place in a transitional justice process as well as in how day-to-day crimes are addressed. Almost no respondents had a ready answer for how or even if the traditional practices might be adaptable to addressing the legacies of these contemporary conflicts. 20/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 4 men. not just their own. yet to serve its intended purpose it would have to be locally distributed. 18/09/08 Focus Group Discussion with 10 people. believing that “in Acholi culture. As one respondent put . Views regarding who should be responsible for paying the compensation varied among respondents. because it requires financial resources far beyond the abilities of local communities. Some respondents professed even broader doubts about crimes that traditional justice was not capable of addressing. for many of the abuses that took place during the contemporary conflicts in the regions. Lira. “mato oput needs the understanding of the two parties. Aleb-Tong parish. most respondents were deeply invested in notions of material compensation for victims of abuses. There was less of an overt outcry for the practices themselves to be more widely practiced.

and could contribute to addressing both the legacies of the major conflicts in the region and day-to-day issues of criminal and non-criminal disputes. or complained that they were not consulted about what they would address. Meetings between Lango and Acholi cultural leaders have already had some success in mitigating such tension but further efforts are required. There was both a desire for increased application of the practices at a local level. Careful consideration of the suitable role of the LCs during this transitional period and beyond will also be vital. before ultimate meetings between the cultural intuitions of the different regions take place. positive accounts were universal. it is important that a dialogue is opened. and Teso. the research clearly suggests that a great deal of variation existed among practices even within the same region. this suggests that a maximum level of flexibility in the operation of local practices will be needed. with a more inclusive scope that would allow communities to be consulted by the leadership of the cultural institutions in preparatory meetings. . And since each of these regions has different approaches to traditional justice. In cases where meetings have been proposed but have not taken place. The need for localised responses to justice was also made clear by the highly specific nature of many of the traditional practices themselves. Traditional justice practices have both national and local relevance. Widespread scepticism of the Ugandan Government throughout the three regions coupled with the value that many respondents placed on the hands-on nature of traditional justice indicated that it should have a prominent place in the national transitional justice process. the core principles in each. will likely be the model that best serves the national and each region’s justice needs The traditional justice part of the equation essentially has three components. though the potential for a mutually appreciable practice agreed upon through these dialogues should not be precluded as a potential future step. Codification of Traditional Justice: A Three Track Approach This research compels the conclusion that traditional practices will need to have a multifaceted role in both the transitional justice process in Uganda and any future reforms in the broader legal system. There should be further dialogues.30 Beyond Juba 4. another the tribe-to-tribe needs and the third to respond to the nations’ broader needs addressing the government’s relationship with the various rebel groups and the responsibilities of all for the conflicts. Collectively. national mechanisms which have no local roots are unlikely to satisfy the needs of the affected communities. Given the protracted and complex war in the north and the large geographical areas that have been affected. Current national justice structures appeared unresponsive to local needs and values. while the conflicts which required redress were equally as varied. Where talks have already taken place. Lango and Teso. one part will need to address the clan-to-clan needs. such as between the Lango and Teso cultural institutions. While broader principles were discernable. and the void left by shortcomings of these structures were being filled by locally practiced traditional mechanisms. simple dialogues should serve as a first step. While Teso has been more sceptical of such interactions the potential for reconciliation exists. Because there was no common traditional practice between the Acholi. combined with the formal justice system. www. but many communities appeared unaware of these activities. traditional justice alone would be inadequate to the task of serving as the sole justice mechanism. It would also be important for these meetings to be better publicised and disseminated to communities across the regions. and an implicit desire for the principles of this system to be reflected in national transitional justice and potential reforms in Uganda’s basic legal structures. Traditional justice mechanisms were widely respected in principle.beyondjuba. While local accountability and reconciliation mechanisms on their own would struggle to address the abuses committed by the rebel and government forces during the conflicts in Acholi. and their value highlighted the shortcomings of the formal justice process. The level of inter-ethnic tensions which lingered just below the surface of seemingly placid relations indicates that further dialogues will also be vital for achieving a lasting peace in the region.

traditional justice practices should be used to establish the principles of a national system. and again to close their work as a final seal on the process. 147 Refer to Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation Between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement. the Uganda Human Rights Commission. established as a special division of the High Court of Uganda. though only as part of a more comprehensive justice process.Beyond Juba 31 Finally. It is in following this principle of jurisdiction that it is so important that a national transitional justice process reflects the principles and values of the communities affected by conflict. Juba Sudan 29 June 2007 www. the inclusion of even a symbolic practice to open and close the national transitional justice process could be vastly important for public faith in the process in the northern regions. the Amnesty Commission. and a potentially new national body of inquiry. including some victims and non-leaders on all sides. There was even some support voiced specifically for imprisonment as a form of punishment. Ultimately. One clear principle of justice articulated throughout Acholi. and then again at the conclusion. Moreover. Corporal punishment should not be carried into the contemporary transitional justice process. as called for in the Annexure to Agenda Item 3 of the Juba Peace Agreement that would coordinate with these other mechanisms. While the opening cleansing might consist of statements from a variety of leadership positions and a single. Lango and Teso. to a sealing of a peace agreement. While there is no standard procedure between the three regions.beyondjuba. A basic framework was laid out by the Principle Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation in Agenda Item No. This framework called for a collection of national bodies that will be tasked with the transitional justice process. because of the wide range of specific procedures for such slaughters and the deep opposition to such practices by religious institutions. 3 of the Juba Peace agreement147. The fact that retribution and punishment maintains roots in traditional justice suggests that the imprisonment of perpetrators could serve as a viable element of the national process. and to accommodate principles of non-alcohol consumption. To account for the various purposes of cleansing which range from the ridding of bad spirits. To incorporate notions of cleansing into a national transitional justice process. The most challenging aspect would likely relate to any animal slaughter. a national symbolic cleansing would have to be both simple and inclusive of all possible interpretations of its meaning. the closing might consist of a meal shared by several parties to the conflict. This research indicated that cleansing was most important first as a pre-requisite to other mechanisms of the justice process. That approach is consistent with the mission of the War Crimes Division of the High Court. as a symbol of the final reconciliation between conflicting parties. While this research has focused on how to incorporate such principles from Northern Uganda into the system. symbolic stepping of an egg. while also practiced directly in local communities affected by the conflict. a symbolic cleansing practice could be used to both begin the operation of the work of these various bodies. It may require the inclusion of both traditional and religious leaders. was that an individual who committed an infraction or abuse in a community different from their own would be subject to the justice practices of that region. such slaughters might have to be carried out only at a regional scale. the principle of needing some form of cleansing was universal. to the need for blessings from a Christian God. the very need for a national set of transitional justice structures is presented by the fundamental question of how abuses committed in a particular region by an individual from another region should be addressed. Regardless. it will also be important to explore how the principles of traditional practice in other parts of Uganda might fit into the national process. Traditional justice has been principally understood as a means of restorative justice with few retributive elements. These bodies include the War Crimes Court. They are dynamic at a regional and national level. The legacies of conflict discussed in this paper are far from local in nature. The question then becomes how the five principles identified by this research could be integrated into a national transitional justice process. This research found that there was a deeply retributive component to traditional . which is likely to continue receiving returnees. and are connected to a national pattern of cyclical violence that has produced a tenuous peace through pacification rather than reconciliation.

rather than pronouncements by one party to the conflict at a time. most likely financial compensation. One possibility for an alternative mechanism might be open door. While the specific practices of mato oput. Consideration should be given to having a final symbolic act of reconciliation at the national level that is somehow integrated into the transitional justice process. however. Some form of standardisation as to the amount of compensation awarded for particular categories of abuses would also be necessary.32 Beyond Juba though it was clear that imprisonment or any form of punishment was an incomplete response to a given offence. it could make recommendations concerning payments. Perhaps the clearest finding of this research concerning the notion of truth-telling was that it was not a matter of individualised confession. broader restitution strategies aimed at rebuilding infrastructure and economic capacity in the war affected regions. This desire. and would need augmentation by several other means for an abuse to be completely addressed. At the core of this task are two questions: Where would the funding come from. A compensation fund contributed to by both the Ugandan government and international donors could be established. Rather than draw an absolute line between those abducted and those who were not. Designing an appropriate national reparations framework is likely to be one of the most difficult tasks in carrying the principles of traditional justice into the national transitional justice process. should be continued. suggested the need to consider an alternative mechanism from the standard model of a national truth-telling body. kayo www. it was their responsibility. internet. the better solution would be to permit prosecutorial discretion and the judiciary to assure that a reasonable determination is made in each case based on the facts of that case. To assure national ownership. Local communities lack the resources to compensate the victims. and the atrocities committed throughout the conflict. The national body of inquiry suggested in Agenda Item No. and how should the reparations be allocated? There was a clear need for linking specific abuses from the history of conflict with the awarding of some form of reparations.beyondjuba. and those in leadership positions in the rebel movement who were seen as at fault for the abduction of others. with high level commanders from the various parties to the conflicts eligible for prosecution by the War Crimes Division of the High Court. Communities were less concerned with the outright admission of guilt by an individual than the parties to the conflict with a twoway discussion to come to a mutually agreed upon understanding of the abuse which took place. many of the most horrific atrocities were committed by those who had been abducted years before and they have been guilty of repeated serious crimes. which emphasises multilateral and reciprocal dialogues. Other abductees were only recently abducted and only committed crimes under extreme duress. Such a step would reflect the perception that while the plight faced by communities in the north was not entirely of the governments doing. as has been called for in the PRDP. roundtable dissuasions which would include several parties to the conflict. Thus. it would be important for the proceedings to be widely broadcast by . but an inter-active dialogue. An important principle of traditional truth-telling dialogues was that both parties to the abuse were allowed to come as equals to the discussion and tell their side of the story. 3 should reflect the principle of truth-telling. In addition to individual reparations. as the ruling party to take liability and provide redress. A round-table discussion would provide a far more fluid forum for sharing grievances. Since the truth telling body will most likely have the most details facts surround the conflicts. An important though thorny distinction was drawn by respondents. combined with a deep scepticism of the Ugandan government and any national mechanism for truth-telling it might call for. In many respects this distinction is an impossible one given the blurred lines between victims and perpetrators in the LRA’s ranks. between those who were abducted against their will as part of the LRA conflict. and puts participants on more equal footing. radio. retribution should be included as part of the national transitional justice process. and newspapers. In reality.

it is still necessary for their spirit of sharing and celebration to be included in the national transitional justice process. in such a way that all Ugandans benefit from the .beyondjuba. Communities in Acholi. Traditional justice practices need to be a major part of this transitional process. ailuc and toni-koka among others could be carried out at the community level. those practices will not likely have a place in the national process. However. Of necessity the traditions of Uganda’s informal justice system will need to change if they are to assist in the healing from years of conflict. Through this. this research confirmed the need to understand the conflicts in northern Uganda as multidimensional and inextricably linked to the country’s national regime changes. its neighbours. and would serve as a key component of what is so urgently needed to bring lasting peace to the region.Beyond Juba 33 cuk. suggesting the need for a multi-lateral response. Such an action would help to both memorialise the peace and celebrate the new national relationships. The respect that traditional practices continue to have in rural areas underscores the need to use them in the coming transitional justice environment. For example. It would be important for a widely publicised celebration to be conducted involving leaders of the several parties to the conflicts. Fundamentally. the key benefit of reconciliation—the ability to end cyclical patterns of violence by normalising relations—could be realised. and the entire nation. Lango and Teso still suffer from the legacies of multiple and interrelated conflicts. www. a public holiday at the conclusion of the transitional justice process to celebrate the new peace could be established and dedicated to reconciliation and a last peace. Moving from its historical role of resolving individual conflicts within a clan or village to a role that compliments the formal justice system in addressing war crimes will be the next challenge.

beyondjuba. Many of the principles of traditional justice practices have both national and local relevance and could contribute to addressing both the legacies of the major conflicts in the region and day-to-day instances of crime. This cannot be done without developing an understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of conflicts and their linkages to regime change. explore related principles prevailing in other parts of the country. legal reform should focus on how to capture the five principles which are shared across the different regions of northern Uganda.34 Beyond Juba Conclusion Uganda is faced with the challenge of breaking cycles of violence by ensuring that traditional justice practices among other legal mechanisms enhance national reconciliation and sustainable peace. Rather than attempting to codify the specific practices of different ethnic groups. www. Traditional principles have the potential to play a multifaceted role in both the transitional justice process in Uganda and in future reforms to the broader legal . as well as.

Lucy and Joanna R. (Cambridge. D. ‘Bending the Spears’ – Notes on Denis Pain’s report to International Alert: ‘The Bending of the Spears’ Producing Consensus for Peace development in Northern Uganda. and Zachary Lomo. February 2005. War and Justice in Northern Uganda: An Assessment of the International Criminal Court’s Intervention (DRAFT). Berkeley.. 1997 (http://www. 1997). RLP Working Paper No. Ritual. .. kmnet.Beyond Juba BIBLIOGRAPHY 35 Allen. Justice Later: Traditional Justice in Northern Uganda. London: International Alert and Kacoke Madit. 2000. Northern Uganda. Human Rights Focus Report September 2007: Fostering the Transition in Acholiland: From War to Peace. Development Studies Institute. Crisis States Research Centre. (eds. February 2005. Law and Disorder: The Impact of Conflict on Access to Justice in Northern Uganda. Forgotten Voices: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes About Peace and Justice in Northern Uganda. Lucy. Sverker. from Camps to Home. Tim. The Bending of the Spears: Producing Consensus for Peace & Development in Northern Uganda. ‘An Overview of Initiatives for Peace in Acholi. Case Study. USA. July 2005. COPE Working Paper 31. and Huyse. November 2004. Whose Justice? Perceptions of Uganda’s Amnesty Act 2000: The Potential For Conflict Resolution and Long-Term Reconciliation. Barnes. Quinn. Massachusetts. Justice Resources. www.C: United States Institute of Peace Press. Hovil. Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies. ACORD. University of California. 13-15 Sept. Reconciliation After Violent Conflict: A Handbook (Stockholm: International IDEA. London School of Economics. Bloomfield. 2004). 2003). RLP Working Paper No.). Chris.beyondjuba. Finnströ 1999). Hovil. Lederach.doc) Dolan.. 17. Dennis Pain.’ in The Reflecting on Peace Practice Project directed by the Collaborative for Development Action. Reconciliation Grown Bitter? Amnesty. (Washington D. J. Inc. London.P. 15. July 2005. and War in Northern Uganda. T. July 2005 version (Paper originally presented at the African Studies Association (ASAUK) biennial conference (‘Debating Africa’). Peace First. International Center for Transitional Justice and the Human Rights Center.

(Leiden: African Studies Center. A. cornerstone of the Rwandan justice system” (Published by Penal Reform International. September 2005. Report IV “The guilty plea procedure. Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in Northern Uganda www. Thomas Harlacher. Ker Kwaro Acholi. Partial Justice: Formal and Informal Mechanisms in Post Molenaar. Gacaca: Grassroots justice after genocide. Francis Xavier . Gulu District NGO Forum. Caroline Aloyo Mychelle Bathazard and Ronald Atkinson: Traditional Ways of Coping in Acholi: Cultural provisions for reconciliation and healing in war.-2007from: http://www. 21. May 2007 Lucy Hovil and Moses Chrispus Okello. January2003). Liu Institute for Global reports/gacaca/rep-ga4-2003-guiltyplea-en.Retrievedon27th9.36 Beyond Juba Conflict West Nile: RLP Working Paper No.pdf Roco Wat I Acholi: Restoring Relationships in Acholi-land: Traditional Approaches to Justice and Reintegration.beyondjuba.. 2006 Uganda Join Christian Council titled: A Framework for Dialogue on Reconciliation and Peace in Northern Uganda: 2007 UNOCHA Report 2007: Making Peace Our Own: Victims Perceptions of Accountability. 2005) Penal Reform International Research Report on GACACA.penalreform. Research Report 77.

Beyond Juba 37 .beyondjuba.


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