|This research presents an analysis of the current and past disarmament situation in Karamoja while looking at the strategies applied so far by all stakeholders including government, civil society organisations and development partners. The report starts by analysing the historical perspectives of the disarmament with special focus on the attendant causes sustaining factors, the resultant effects these have had on the people affected, presents some recommendations and conclusions.
Many actors have mentioned a number of causes for the Karamoja conflict, some of which are; deliberate underdevelopment of Karamoja by both colonial and present governments making it stay backward, the inherent culture of rustling, that they see as source of livelihood, bride price and pride, thus all cattle belongs to them, the acquisition of illegal modern weapons and their continued flow to the region, lack of water and pasture for watering and grazing cattle, attitudes of hatred by the neighbours to Karamoja and the inter-clan raids and counter raids to stock and restock herds among the Karimojong ethnic clans, motivated by economic gains(trade).
Although less reported, the Karimojong themselves have become victims to this unfortunate escalation and transformation of the old raiding tradition of use of spears to now violent raids with guns. Many of them die in the process when confronted by the army and the militia but they are also killed in the process of raids.
The disarmament programme in Karamoja needs to re-evaluate to incorporate lessons learnt in the previous attempts in order to make it more effective. As the Karimojong are persuaded to surrender their guns, there is need for an alternative to engage the youth who have been employed by the gun for all their lives. But also for people used to protecting themselves, to throw their lives and property into the hands of government overnight would be difficult after all there is suspicion that government had abandoned them on their own for decades.