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Intergenerational land conflict in northern Uganda: children, customary law and return migration


Northern Uganda is in transition after the conflict that ended in 2006. While its cities are thriving and economic opportunities abound, the social institutions governing land access are contested, the land administration system is changing, and the mechanisms available to address conflicts over resources have themselves become a venue for authority claims. This article examines the intergenerational nature of land conflicts in northern Uganda, focusing on the interplay of customary law, return migration and the development of a market in land. There are three contributions to existing literature: (1) a discussion of children's property rights under customary and statute law in Uganda; (2) the identification of the dual nature of children during complex emergencies as both victims and agents; and (3) an addition to knowledge on post-conflict return and community reconstruction. Evidence comes from several sources, the most important of which are a set of interviews conducted in Gulu and Kampala in May and June 2015. Secondary sources augment the field research, particularly survey research conducted in northern Uganda after the conflict.


Le Nord de l'Ouganda est en transition après la période de conflit qui s'est achevée en 2006. Les villes sont en plein essor et les opportunités économiques abondent, mais les institutions sociales qui régissent l'accès à la terre sont contestées, le système d'administration des terres est en mutation et les mécanismes disponibles pour pallier les conflits liés aux ressources sont eux-mêmes devenus un espace de revendication d'autorité. Cet article examine la nature intergénérationnelle des conflits de terres dans le Nord de l'Ouganda, en s'intéressant à l'interaction du droit coutumier, de la migration de retour et du développement d'un marché foncier. Il y a trois contributions à la littérature existante : (1) une discussion des droits fonciers des enfants en vertu du droit coutumier et législatif en Ouganda ; (2) l'identification de la double nature des enfants dans les urgences complexes en tant que victimes et en tant qu'agents ; et (3) un complément à la connaissance sur le retour et la reconstruction communautaire après un conflit. Les données viennent de plusieurs sources dont la plus importante est une série d'entretiens menés à Gulu et à Kampala en mai et juin 2015. Les sources secondaires renforcent la recherche de terrain, notamment la recherche par enquête effectuée dans le Nord de l'Ouganda après le conflit.

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