Skip to main content
×
×
Home

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

  • Sandra F. Joireman
Abstract

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.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Intergenerational land conflict in northern Uganda: children, customary law and return migration
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Intergenerational land conflict in northern Uganda: children, customary law and return migration
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Intergenerational land conflict in northern Uganda: children, customary law and return migration
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
Hide All
Adelman, S. and Peterman, A. (2014) ‘Resettlement and gender dimensions of land rights in post-conflict northern Uganda’, World Development 64: 583–96.
Atkinson, R. R. (2010) ‘Afterword: a perspective on the last thirty years’ in The Roots of Ethnicity: origins of the Acholi of Uganda before 1800. Kampala: Fountain Publishers.
Boyden, J. (2003) ‘Children under fire: challenging assumptions about children's resilience’, Children, Youth and Environments 13 (1): 129.
Branch, A. (2011) Displacing Human Rights: war and intervention in northern Uganda. New York NY: Oxford University Press.
Dancer, H. (2015) Women, Land and Justice in Tanzania. Rochester NY: James Currey.
Deng, F. M. (2011) ‘Customary law in the cross fire of Sudan's war of identities’ in Isser, D. (ed.), Customary Justice and the Rule of Law in War-torn Societies. Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace.
Dolan, C. (2009) Social Torture: the case of northern Uganda, 1986–2006. New York NY: Berghahn Books.
Drimie, S. (2002) ‘The impact of HIV/AIDS on land: case studies from Kenya, Lesotho and South Africa’ in A Synthesis Report Prepared for the Southern African Regional Office of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Pretoria: Integrated Rural and Regional Development, Human Sciences Research Council.
Girling, F. K. (1960) The Acholi of Uganda. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
Hakansson, N. T. (1994) ‘The detachability of women: gender and kinship in processes of socioeconomic change among the Gusii of Kenya’, American Ethnologist 21 (3): 516–38.
Hampshire, K., Porter, G., Kilpatrick, K., Kyei, P., Adjaloo, M. and Oppong, G. (2008) ‘Liminal spaces: changing inter-generational relations among long-term Liberian refugees in Ghana’, Human Organization 67 (1): 2536.
Hinz, M. O. (2010) Customary Law Ascertained: the customary law of the Owambo, Kavango and Caprivi communities of Namibia. Vol. 1. Windhoek: Namibia Scientific Society in association with the Human Rights and Documentation Centre.
Hopwood, J. and Atkinson, R. (2013) ‘The land conflict monitoring and mapping tool for the Acholi sub-region’. Gulu: United Nations Peacebuilding Programme in Uganda and Human Rights Focus.
Joireman, S. F. (2007) ‘Enforcing new property rights in sub-Saharan Africa: the Ugandan constitution and the 1998 Land Act’, Comparative Politics 39 (July): 463–80.
Joireman, S. F. (2008) ‘The mystery of capital formation in sub-Saharan Africa: women, property rights and customary law’, World Development 36 (7): 1233–46.
Joireman, S. F. (2011) Where There is No Government: enforcing property rights in common law Africa. New York NY: Oxford University Press.
Joireman, S. F. (2014) ‘Rebuilding communities after violent conflict: informal justice systems and resource access’, Harvard Human Rights Journal (online symposium).
Joireman, S. F., Sawyer, A. and Wilhoit, J. (2012) ‘A different way home: resettlement patterns in northern Uganda’, Political Geography 31 (4): 197204.
Kandel, M. (2016) ‘Struggling over land in post-conflict Uganda’, African Affairs 115 (459): 274–95.
Ker Kwaro Acholi (2008) ‘Principles and practices of customary tenure in Acholiland’. Gulu: Ker Kwaro Acholi.
Kumam Elders’ Forum (2011) ‘Kumam principles, practices, rights and responsibilities (PPRR) for customary land tenure management’. Kampala and Soroti: Land and Equality Movement in Uganda.
McCallin, B. and Montemurro, M. (2009) ‘Whose land is this? Land disputes and forced displacement in the western forest area of Côte d'Ivoire’. Geneva: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (2013) ‘The Uganda National Land Policy’. Kampala: Government of Uganda.
Nannyonjo, J. (2005) ‘Conflicts, poverty and human development in northern Uganda’. WIDER working paper. New York NY: United Nations World Institute for Development Economics Research.
North, D. C. (1990) Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. New York NY: Cambridge University Press.
Obol-Ochola, J. (1973) ‘The pilot scheme for the registration of titles in Kigezi’, Uganda Law Focus 1 (3): 133–45.
Onegi, L. (2012) ‘Post-conflict land insecurity threatens re-displacement in northern Uganda’, Forced Migration Review 41 (December): 31–2.
Opiyo, L. M. (2015) ‘Alone like a tree: reintegration challenges facing children born of war and their mothers in northern Uganda’. JRP situational brief. Gulu: Justice and Reconciliation Project.
Owot, P. (1976) ‘Padibe during the Aconya: 1400–1900’ in Onyango-ku-Odongo, J. M. and Webster, J. B. (eds), The Central Lwo during the Aconya. Nairobi: East African Literature Bureau.
Pham, P., Vinck, P., Wierda, M., Stover, E. and di Giovanni, A. (2005) Forgotten Voices: a population-based survey of attitudes about peace and justice in northern Uganda. New York NY: International Center for Transitional Justice and the Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley.
Rincon, J. M. (2010) ‘Ex-combatants, returnees, land and conflict in Liberia’. Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies.
Roberts, B., Ocaka, K. F., Browne, J., Oyok, T. and Sondorp, E. (2008) ‘Factors associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression amongst internally displaced persons in northern Uganda’, BMC Psychiatry 8: 19.
Rose, L. L. (2005) ‘Orphans’ land rights in post-war Rwanda: the problem of guardianship’, Development and Change 36 (5): 911–36.
Toulmin, C., Delville, P. L. and Traore, S. (2002) The Dynamics of Resource Tenure in West Africa. Portsmouth NH: Heinemann.
Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2009) Statistical Abstract. Kampala: Government of Uganda.
Uganda Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (2005) ‘Health and mortality survey among internally displaced persons in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts, northern Uganda’. Kampala: World Health Organization.
UNHCR (2015) ‘Worldwide displacement hits all-time high as war and persecution increase’. Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
van Leeuwen, M. (2014) ‘Renegotiating customary tenure reform: land governance reform and tenure security in Uganda’, Land Use Policy 39: 292300.
Vorhölter, J. (2014) Youth at the Crossroads: discourses on socio-cultural change in post-war northern Uganda. Göttingen: Göttingen University Press.
Whyte, S. R., Babiiha, S. M., Mukyala, R. and Meinert, L. (2012) ‘Remaining internally displaced: missing links to security in northern Uganda’, Journal of Refugee Studies 26 (2): 283301.
Woodman, G. (2008) ‘A survey of customary laws in Africa in search of lessons for the future’ in Customary Law Revisited. Gaborone: Leitner Center for International Law and Justice.
Woodman, G. R. (2011) ‘A survey of customary laws in Africa in search of lessons for the future’ in Fenrich, J., Galizzi, P. and Higgins, T. E. (eds), The Future of African Customary Law. New York NY: Cambridge University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Africa
  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
  • URL: /core/journals/africa
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 14
Total number of PDF views: 158 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 503 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 9th January 2018 - 16th August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.