Managing ethnic conflict in resource use: the case of the Jonam and Acholi people in northern Uganda .
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The study was to examine the management of ethnic conflicts in resource use between the Jonam and Acholi people in Northern Uganda. The study was guided by three specific objectives: to examine the causes of ethnic conflicts in resource use between the Jonam and Acholi people in Northern Uganda, to document hindrances to resolving ethnic conflicts over resources between the Jonam and Acholi people in Northern Uganda, and to recommend relevant conflict resolution mechanisms that can be used to resolve/manage the conflict between the Acholi and Jonam of Northern Uganda. The study used a case study research design and predominantly employed a quantitative approach but also used a qualitative approach. Survey and interview methods were applied, and questionnaire and interview guide used as the main instrument respectively. The study population constituted of 310 participants. These were selected using purposive and simple random sampling. Quantitative data analysis mainly consisted of descriptive statistics (Frequencies and Percentages) generated using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). Themes and sub-themes were used to analyze qualitative data. From the study, the causes of ethnic conflicts were found out to be natural resources, the history of separation between Labongo and Gipirr, political instability and inability of government to provide good governance. Regarding hindrances to resolving ethnic conflicts the study found ethnic diversity within the community, political interests, cultural attachments, poor transport, and communication infrastructure. Verifying and harmonising land tittles, mainstreaming the land tenure system, co-management, reduction in socio-economic inequalities and poverty alleviation were cited as conflict resolution mechanisms. From the study, it was observed that land as a resource is a source of most ethnic conflicts between the Jonarm and the Acholi. It was observed that most of the conflicts originate on the ownership and use of land including agriculture. Attention ought to be considered in the resolution of such conflicts. It was recommended that the government through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development should pronounce itself on whether the land is customary or public because a good fraction of Jonam and Acholi still believe that it is their customary land and are not willing to accept governments position on the nature of land ownership in the contested area. According to government land policy, the area is public land. Some respondents insist that since it is the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and urban development that degazetted the land as a resource in this area, it should give a clear interpretation to people and issue guidelines on how to own land.