Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Odoi-Tanga, Fredrick firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-05162010-003240 Document Title Politics, ethnicity and conflict in post independent Acholiland, Uganda 1962-2006 Degree DPhil Department Historical and Heritage Studies Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof A S Mlambo Supervisor Keywords
- Acholiland Uganda
Date 2010-04-14 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis dissertation examines the extent to which conflict in post-colonial Acholiland is largely a product of the political dynamics of successive post-colonial regimes, including the extensive manipulation of politicized ethnicity and ethnic stereotyping rather than the age-old ethnic differences emanating from the regionís history. Acholiland lies in the Northern part of Uganda.
Unlike the other East African states of Kenya and Tanzania that have enjoyed relative peace since their independence in the 1960s, Uganda has had a long conflictual history since 1962. The citizens of Uganda only enjoyed few years of relative peace and stability between 1962 and 1966. Between 1966 and 2006, one part or another of Uganda has experienced years of conflict accompanied by instability and political turmoil resulting from the failure to resolve political differences using political-civil means. The Ugandan political leadership after independence has failed to work out a basic political consensus on the basis of which political institutions can be built to resolve political conflicts, short of physical force. The net effect of all this was to bring the Uganda army on the stage of Uganda politics. Since 1962 the army has been used as an instrument of policy to resolve what basically was/is a domestic struggle for power. In this entire process, various ethnic groups have been victims of the cycle of violence. Since 1986 until 2006, war has ravaged Acholiland in northern Uganda to a greater extent than any other part of Uganda. The Uganda army (The National Resistance Army) (NRM), later renamed the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), has since engaged one insurgent group after another in Acholiland. The debilitating consequences of the 20 year old conflict in Acholiland and the search for peace are subjects of growing scholarship. This work on conflict in post-independent Acholiland (1962-2006) seeks to contribute to this scholarship.
While it has been postulated that conflict in Acholiland is largely because the Acholi are warlike people and are therefore more prone to war than other ethnic groups in Uganda, it is argued here that conflict in this area is largely a product of the political dynamics of successive post-colonial regimes, including the extensive manipulation of politicized ethnicity and ethnic stereotyping.
As the study shows, ethnicity by itself is not a problem and ethnicity can be harnessed for the stability and development of any country. However, once politicized and militarily instrumentalized, as has been the case in post-independent Uganda, ethnicity then becomes a vehicle for violent conflict. This then makes ethnically informed practices the main means through which war and its effects are interpreted and acted upon. The study also traces the history of Acholiland in the colonial period to identity the major trends that shaped its development and contributed to the regionís turbulent post-colonial experience.
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Please cite as follows:
Odoi-Tanga, F 2009, Politics, ethnicity and conflict in post independent Acholiland, Uganda 1962-2006, DPhil thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05162010-003240/ >
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