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Internal  Displacement  in   Acholiland,  Northern  Uganda  

Simon  Addison   Refugee  Studies  Centre   University  of  Oxford  


Uganda:  Basic  Facts  (2006)  
•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Independence:   PopulaOon:     Life  expectancy: HIV/AIDS:     GNI:         GNI  per  capita:   GDP  growth:   Poverty:       Agricultural  popn: Budget  support:                      1962    31  million;  3.2%  growth  rate    51    1.1  million    $10.5  billion    $340    5.1  %      38  %    82  %    11  %  of  GDP;  50%  of  expenditure    
Source:  World  Bank  (2007)  

Yoweri  Museveni  
•  Came  to  power  in  1986  aber  a  long  guerrilla  war  against   regimes  of  Obote  and  Okello   •  Rapidly  installed  a  new  system  of  government:  The  NaOonal   Resistance  Movement  (NRM)   •  Sought  acOvely  to  redress  perceived  imbalances  of  power   between  north  and  south   •  Has  faced  over  20  insurgent  groups  since  seizing  power   •  Highly  militarized  government  that  while  seeking  to   liberalize  the  economy  is  highly  dependent  bilateral  aid  

3  %  in   1995  before  stabilising  at  5.  deficit   spending  constraint.  Uganda:  Development     •  Full  implementaOon  of  Structural  Adjustment  Programme  (SAP):   macro-­‐economic  stabilisaOon.3  %  in  1985  to  11.   •  First  HIPC  country  to  receive  debt  relief   •  GDP  growth  rates  increased  from  -­‐3.     .  trade  liberalisaOon.9  %  in  2005   •  InflaOon  shrank  from  155  %  in  1985  to  5  %  2004.  and  privaOsaOon.

    •  Rural  access  to  safe  water  sources  increased  from  levels  as  low   as  7.3  %  in  2003.4  per  cent  in  1982    to  55  per  cent  in  2004   •  Universal  primary  educaOon  introduced     .  Uganda:  Development     •  Incidence  of  poverty  at  the  naOonal  level  declined  from  56  %  in   1992  to  37.4%  in  2005.     •  NaOonal  HIV/AIDS  infecOon  rates  dropped  from  18    %  (1992)  to   6.

Uganda:  Uneven  Development   Poverty    Northern  Uganda  66%    NaOonal  average    35%   Increasing  steadily  in  North  while   naOonal  growth  rates  increases   (04)   Principle  drivers  of  poverty:   –  Colonial  policies   –  Chronic  lack  of  investment   –  Drought  (climate  change)   –  Caile  raiding  by  Karamojong   and  Sudanese   –  Conflict   .

Uganda:  Conflict   Almost  constant  conflict  over  40  years  since  independence   Internal  conflict  has  claimed  well  over  500.  ADF.  LRA.000  lives   PoliOcal  violence  and  coups  d’etat:   –  Milton  Obote  (I)  post-­‐independence         –  Idi  Amin        1971   –  Milton  Obote  (II)    1980   –  Yoweri  Museveni    1985   –  Various  rebel  facOons  UDF.  HSM  etc.   Pockets  of  communal/tribal  violence   Engagement  in  internaOonal  conflicts   –  DRC   –  South  Sudan   .

Conflict:  Northern  Uganda   .

Acholi  Insurgencies   Dates   March  1986  -­‐  July  1988   Late  1986  -­‐  December  1987   January  1988  -­‐  August  1989   Late  1987  -­‐  1991   1991  -­‐  Present   Insurgency   Ugandan  People's  Defence  Army   Holy  Spirit  Mobile  Forces   Holy  Spirit  Movement   Uganda  ChrisOan  DemocraOc  Army   Lord's  Resistance  Army   UPDA   HSM  I   HSM  II   UCDA   LRA   Leadership   Former  UNLA  officers   Alice  Lakwena   Severino  Likoya   Joseph  Kony   Joseph  Kony   .


Lord’s  Resistance  Army   •  Led  by  Joseph  Kony  since  the  late  1980s   •  Millenarian  spirit  cult  informed  by  Acholi  religion.000  in  2004.  75%  abducted)   •  Based  in  Southern  Sudan  with  support  from  GoS  unOl  2006   •  Now  operates  from  within  DRC  (Garamba  forest)   .  5.   apocalypOc  ChrisOanity  and  some  Muslim  doctrine.  the  conquest  of  ‘evil’  and   establishment  of  a  state  founded  upon  the  10   commandments   •  Senior  command  of  former  UNLA  soldiers   •  Force  size  generally  unknown  but  with  a  sizeable  number  of   child/youth  combatants  (est.   •  Purportedly  sought  to  liberate  Ugandans  by  overthrow  of   the  Museveni  regime.

Violence  in  Acholiland   •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  LRA:  Arbitrary  aiacks  on  villages.   arbitrary  arrest.  rarely  engages  UPDF   UPDF:  Violence  against  civilians  to  force  encampment   UPDF:  SystemaOc  violence  against  civilians  in  camps.  camps.000  violent  deaths  a  month  (WHO  2005)   Rates  of  violent  death  :  142  per  week   Average  of  19  people  killed  violently  each  day   Excess  death  rates  :  122  people  per  day   Civil  Society  Organiza2ons  for  Peace  in  Northern  Uganda   (2006)   .  public  transport   LRA  targets  civilians.  torture  and  disappearances     Rape  and  sexual  slavery  commonplace   1.

 forced   killing.   sexual  violence.  execuOon   .  iniOaOon.LRA  AbducOon   •  Typically  children  between  12  and   18   •  Trained  as  soldiers  or  taken  as  wives   •  “Youngsters  oben  make  the  most   effecOve  killers”   •  UNICEF  esOmate:  up  to  30.000   children  had  been  abducted  by   2005   •  Cycle  of  abductee  suffering:   AbducOon.  starvaOon.  forced  labour.

7  million  known  to  be  living   in  IDP  camps  (2005)   •  1  million  living  in  200  camps   in  Acholiland   •  95%  of  populaOon  of   Acholiland   •  Area  the  size  of  Belgium   depopulated   •  Extremely  high  levels  of   populaOon  density   .Internal  Displacement   •  1.



000  civilians)   •  Threat  of  abducOon.Security  &  ProtecOon   •  Constant  threat  of  aiack  from  LRA  in  camps.  parOcularly  of  youth   •  40.000  ‘night-­‐commuters’  across  the  region   •  InOmidaOon  and  violence  at  hands  of  UPDF   •  Murder  of  civilians  by  LRA  &  UPDF   •  Increased  general  levels  of  SGBV   .  fields  and  along  highways   •  SystemaOc  failure  of  UPDF  protecOon  in  camps   (average  of  1  soldier  per  1.   villages.

500  people   (Sphere  standard  =  1:500)   •  Per  capita  consumpOon  of  2-­‐6  l/day  (Sphere  =  15  l/day)   •  Average  of  6  hours  waiOng  Ome  at  boreholes   •  Average  of  1  latrine  per  1.Service  Provision   Collapse  of  health  care  system    Closure  of  vast  majority  of  health  centres  due  to  insecurity   Collapse  of  water  supply  and  sanitaOon  infrastructure  (2004)   •  Average  of  1  protected  water  source  per  2.500  people  (Sphere  =  1:20)   Collapse  of  educaOon  system   •  80%  schools  closed   •  240.000  children  without  access  to  educaOon   .

 reaching   5.54/10.000/day  across  Acholiland.18  /10.4/10.000/day  in  some  locaOons   .  2.Morbidity  &  Mortality   •  Increased  public  health  risks  in  IDP  camps   Malaria   Diarrhoea   Upper  Respiratory  InfecOon   MalnutriOon   •  Excess  deaths  :  122  per  day   •  3  x  higher  than  recorded  for  Darfur  in  Oct  2005   •  CMR:  1.000/day   in  some  camps  in  Pader  and  Lira  (0.79/10.000/day.46  rest  of  Uganda)   •  103  deaths  from  war-­‐related  disease  per  day   •  <5yrs  mortality  rate  :  3.

 security   78  %  of  households  with  no  access  to  land   Lack  of  access  to  seeds.Livelihoods   •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Poor  land  access:  PopulaOon  density.  livestock  and  land   Lack  of  access  to  inputs  and  training   Climate  Change:  More  variability  and  less  reliability  in  rainfall   High  land  rents  in  camps   Collapse  of  local  culOvaOon   Loss  of  assets  via  looOng.  displacement  and  survival  spending   Market  stagnaOon   Acute  inflaOon  in  food  prices   65%  of  camp  inhabitants  lived  in  absolute  poverty   .  land  availability.

Food  Security  Crisis   Chronic  food  insecurity     •  Global  acute  malnutriOon  of   18-­‐20  %  (UNICEF  2003)   •  Chronic  malnutriOon  in  U5s  in   Gulu    of  41.4  %  (ACF  2003)   •  84%  dependency  on  food  aid     •  Inadequate  coverage  by  WFP   •  WFP  provided  only  60%  raOon   •  48%  of  children  in  Kitgum   stunted   .

Social  Collapse     Collapse  of  family  life   Reported  collapse  of  local  culture   Inability  to  carry  out  ritual  pracOces   Collapse  of  tradiOonal  leadership  structures   Collapse  of  judicial  system  –  formal  and   tradiOonal   •  Collapse  of  educaOon  ad  health  systems   •  •  •  •  •  .

Psychic  &  Moral  Distress   An  MSF  survey  in  Pader  Town  (2004)  reported  that:   • 63%  of  the  populaOon  had  experienced  the  disappearance  or   abducOon  of  a  family  member   • 58%  reported  the  death  of  a  family  member  due  to  the   insurgency   • 79%  had  witnessed  torture   • 40%  had  witnessed  a  killing       • 5%  of  the  populaOon  had  been  forced  to  physically  harm   another  person   •   62%  of  women  interviewed  had  considered  suicide   .

Humanitarian  Space   IDP  camps  accessible  only  with  military  escort       •  Kitgum      19    86  per  cent   •  Gulu      35    66  per  cent   •  Pader      30    100  per  cent   IDP  camps  accessible  without  military  escort     •  Kitgum      3    14  per  cent   •  Gulu      18    44  per  cent   •  Pader      0    0  per  cent   UNOCHA  (2005)   .

economic and political capital A ‘lost generation’ of Acholi youth Development of a culture of fear and dependency •  •  •  •  •  .Impacts   •  Extreme levels of physical and social suffering Collapse of regional economy Collapse of Acholi cultural and social relations Destruction of social.

2004) Massive human rights violations committed by both LRA and GoU. principally against members of a single ethnic group – Acholi Described as: ‘social torture’ (Chris Dolan) ‘structural violence’ (Sverker Finnstrom) ‘genocide’ (Olara Otunnu) .Impacts   “world’s largest forgotten emergency” (Jan Egeland. 2003) “world’s most serious protection crisis” (CSOPNU.

forced labour and movement restrictions Deprivation: Including lack of access to resources. services. security and freedom .Rights  in  Crisis   •  •  •  Humanitarian protection is concerned with preventing or mitigating the most damaging effects (direct or indirect) of armed conflict on the civilian population. and it relates to the principal threats that are experienced by civilians living in the field of conflict State has primary responsibility for protection of civilians affected by/displaced by conflict Principal threats in northern Uganda: –  –  –  Violence: and the threat of violence Coercion: such as forced displacement.

Failure  of  Response:  State   No  systemaOc  state  humanitarian  response   Museveni:  refusal  to  idenOfy  as  state  of  emergency  or   disaster  area   Focus  on  military  strategy  –  defeat  of  LRA  in  Sudan   Poor  capacity  of  Office  of  Prime  Minister   Focus  on  development  planning  and  MDGs   World  Bank  Social  AcOon  Fund  for  Northern  Uganda   .

 few  humanitarian  agencies  present   Inadequate  CAP  funding   Lack  of  aienOon.  both  by  Uganda   programmes  and  internaOonally  (esp  UN)   Focus  on  Ugandan  ‘development  miracle’   .Lack  of  Response:  InternaOonal   Pre  2004.

Jan  Egeland   Visited  country  in  December  2003   Damning  assessment  of  the  situaOon   Massive  increase  in  internaOonal  response   Pressure  on  Ugandan  government  to  act   .

IDP  Policy   Drabed  by  OCHA  for  the  OPM  2001   Not  passed  by  Parliament  unOl  2006   Provided  framework  for  relief  intervenOons  of  both  state  and   internaOonal  actors   Framed  situaOon  as  one  of  ‘internal  displacement’   Advocated  use  of  the  Guiding  Principles  on  Internal   Displacement  as  principal  tool   .

 situaOons  of  generalised  violence."     Guiding  Principles  on  Internal  Displacement   .  and  who  have  not  crossed  an  internaOonally   recognised  State  border.Internally  displaced  persons  are  "persons  or  groups  of   persons  who  have  been  forced  or  obliged  to  flee  or  to   leave  their  homes  or  places  of  habitual  residence.  in   parOcular  as  a  result  of  or  in  order  to  avoid  the  effects   of  armed  conflict.   violaOons  of  human  rights  or  natural  or  human-­‐made   disasters.



PracOces  of  Displacement   •  A  series  of  increasingly  comprehensive  displacement   orders  that  were  applied  to  the  populaOon  of  a  discrete   territory  which  consOtuted  only  a  porOon  of  the  conflict-­‐ affected  region   •  That  this  territory  was  the  home  of  a  disOnct  ethno-­‐ linguisOc  group  –  the  Acholi   •  That  these  orders  were  execuOve  order  made  by  the   President  and  executed  by  the  Ugandan  army     •  The  orders  were  made  without  reference  to  Uganda  law   and  without  consultaOon  with  Ugandan  Parliament   .

PracOces  of  Displacement  2   •  Established  a  de  facto  state  of  emergency  without  actually   declaring  a  state  of  emergency  (for  which  adequate  legal   provisions  exist)   •  Enacted  a  state  of  excepOon  which  was  defined  territorially   around  the  Districts  of  Acholiland   •  The  displacements  transformed  Acholiland  into  a  free-­‐fire   zone  dissolving  the  disOncOon  between  civilian  and   combatant   •  The  UPDF  was  able  to  kill  civilians  with  almost  total  impunity.  cultural  and   psychological  degradaOon  reduced  the  populaOon  of   Acholiland  to  an  abject  animal  existence   .     •  Severe  physical.  poliOcal.  social.  juridical.

 and  are   allowed  to  take  only  what  they  can  carry.   are   someOmes   on   the   sides   or   tops   of   steep   hills   and.   Policy  On  Forced  Reloca2on  (“Regroupement”)  In  Burundi   Inter-­‐agency  Standing  CommiNee  (2000)       .   while   officially   administered   by   civilian   authoriOes.   These   sites   typically   lack   all   basic   services.    In  many  cases  communiOes  have  been   moved  with  no  prior  noOce.“Regroupement”.  in  the  middle  of  the  night.   involves   the   massive   forced   movement   of   enOre   communiOes   to   sites   at   varying   distances   from   their   homes.    Their  homes  are  then   oben  looted.   are   in   pracOce   under   the   control  of  military  units.

The  Failure  to  Protect     •  Encampment  failed  to  protect  civilians  from  any  of  the  major   threats  of  violence.  coercion  and  deprivaOon   •  The  displacement  was  unconsOtuOonal  in  its  operaOon  in  that   it  produced  a  de  facto  state  of  emergency  that  placed  the   Acholi  territory  and  its  residents  into  a  state  of  excepOon  with   regard  to  the  law   •  The  manner  of  displacement  was  in  clear  breach  of  the  arOcles   and  principles  of  internaOonal  law  that  govern  such   displacements  in  Ome  of  war   .

 cultural  and  economic  integrity  of  a  quite  clearly   defined  ethnic  group   •  Humanitarian  organisaOons.  due  to  a  failure  of  analysis  and   will  and  because  of  poliOcal  constraints  became  complicit  in   this  process   .ProtecOon  as  Torture   •  The  encampment  of  the  populaOon  became  one  of  the   principle  causes  of  a  chronic  and  highly  destrucOve  process  of   ‘morOficaOon’  or  ‘social  torture’  that  undermined  the  physical.   social.

Humanitarian  Dilemmas   •  Humanitarian  agencies  were  very  slow  to  respond   •  OperaOonal  constraints  –  security.  parOcularly  with  regard  to  the  policy   of  encampment   •  Provision  of  assistance  in  camps  effecOvely  concreOsed  the  camps   and  tacitly  supported  the  strategy  of  containment  that  was  the  one   of  the  main  contribuOng  factors  to  the  humanitarian  crisis   •  Humanitarians  faced  a  classic  dilemma  of  whether  or  not  to   conOnue  providing  assistance  or  to  pull  out  in  an  aiempt  to  ‘do  no   harm’   •  None  took  the  second  opOon.   .  lack  of  analysis   •  PoliOcal  constraints  –  Lack  of  willingness  to  acknowledge  Uganda  as   a  potenOal  crisis  state   •  Failure  to  adequately  acknowledge  the  GoU’s  role  in  creaOng  and   perpetuaOng  the  rights  crisis.  funding.  even  though  most  humanitarians   agreed  that  intervenOons  were  achieving  liile  if  any  impact.

 Only  means  of  protecOng  populaOon  from  LRA   2.Discourses  of  Necessity   Ugandan  state  jusOfied  the  regroupement  on  the  basis  of   ‘necessity’:   1. To  separate  civilian  ‘collaborators’  from  the  rebels   . To  enable  clear  disOncOon  between  civilians  and  rebels   3.

 neoliberal.  scienOfic  raOonalism   RevoluOonary  biopoliOcal  movement  for  peace.The  Movement   Beacon  of  modern.  democracy   and  development   Threatened  by  forces  of  darkness  and  irraOonality  from  a)   the  North  b)  Sudan     Seeks  to  eradicate  ghosts  of  ethnic  past  and  produce  a  new   form  of  utopic  space  in  Uganda  of  naOonal  unity  –  a  new   polis   .

 ‘primordial’   Acholi  parOcularly  idenOfied  as  responsible  for   past  wrongs  of  Ugandan  state   .  especially  those  of  Amin.  Obote  and   Okello  –  all  Northern   Northern  regimes  described  as  ‘barbaric’.   ‘fascist’.Acholi  /  LRA   The  vision  of  post-­‐ethnic  polis  founded  upon   juxtaposiOon  of  the  Movement  with  past   regimes.

Movement  discourse  established  a  clear  boundary  between   those  who  conformed  with  the  new  vision  of  Ugandan   ciOzenship  and  those  who  did  not   This  boundary  took  shape:   1.  the  Acholi.  the  north. Temporally:  between  the  Movement  present  and  the   Northern  past   2.  firstly.     Discursive  foundaOons  of  process  by  which  the  relaOon  of   the  sovereign  ban  came  to  be  applied  to  the  residents  of   the  Acholi  region.  and   more  parOcularly.  and  secondly.   . SpaOally:  around.