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Transitioning to Peace: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes About Social Reconstruction and Justice in Northern Uganda

  • Author(s): Vinck, Patrick
  • Pham, Phuong N
  • et al.
Abstract

This report presents the results of a large-scale population-based survey about peace, justice, and social reconstruction in northern Uganda intended to capture community views on matters that affect ordinary people and the recovery after twenty years of conflicts. The survey was carried out between April and May 2010 in four districts (the Acholi districts) of northern Uganda: Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, and Pader. The findings are based on a total of 2,498 interviews with adults in various locations, including home villages, resettlement sites, and former camps. They provide results that are representative of the adult population in those four districts.

This is the third large-scale survey conducted in this region by the Initiative for Vulnerable Populations at the University of California, Berkeley’s Human Rights Center. The previous surveys were conducted in 2005, while the war with the LRA continued, and in 2007 when peace negotiations were underway. This survey was designed to allow comparison with earlier surveys among the Acholi districts. It also responds to the post-conflict context by including more questions about development and reconstruction.

Interviews were conducted anonymously and confidentially, using a standardized questionnaire about respondents’ demographic profiles, their current priorities, their access to services and information, their concerns about resettlement, and their views on social cohesion, security, violence, peace, justice and accountability.

Detailed results provided in the report reveal a picture of communities in a time of transition, optimistic about the future, concentrated on rebuilding their lives and renewing livelihood activities, and demanding more accountability from government. At the same time, people have not forgotten the war and are concerned about holding perpetrators (including government forces) accountable, reintegrating combatants, and assisting victims. It also reveals that many of these close-knit communities in northern Uganda remain isolated, with little access to news and information (although this is somewhat improved from 2007), little engagement in government programs that affect them, and little contact with authorities or communities outside of their locales.

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