'Kuc' (peace): Its implications and application among the Acholi communities of Palaro and Atiak clans
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This dissertation investigates the concept of ‘Kuc’ (Peace), its implications and application for Acholi communities of Palaro and Atiak in northern Uganda. While other studies have focused on the distinctive and highly visible aspects of the conflict in northern Uganda for example loss of lives, destruction of properties, a broader definition of the conflicts and peace amongst the Acholi communities of Atiak and Palaro entailing relationship, peace and structural conflicts have been the main target of this study. The study proposes strategies of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms among the Acholi communities in northern Uganda which should be enhanced and sustained by transformational development. The key questions to this study were: What is the ‘indigenous’ knowledge and understanding of ‘Kuc’ among the Acholi. What are the implications and application of ‘Kuc’ among the two Acholi communities of Palaro and Atiak? What are the potential factors that disrupt peace? The dissertation highlights the Acholi history, concept of ‘Kuc’, conflict theories, traditional rituals that trigger and support conflicts, traditional mediation ceremonies and contemporary elements of peace. The researcher largely used qualitative and quantitative research methods in the data collection and analysis. Questionnaires, observation, interview guide, and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guides were the research tools that were used in data collection. Data analysis was done with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 10.0 using descriptive statistics and percentage. The findings indicate that most respondents from these communities receive more information about ‘Kuc’ through the media. Furthermore, the notion of ‘Kuc’ (peace), its implications and application are rooted in the culture; and informal education plays a role in imparting knowledge of ‘Kuc’, and most Acholi traditional rituals that are used in the management of small-scale conflicts are effective.