Conflict Resolution Efforts in Northern Uganda: The Role of Local Leaders in Gulu District, Uganda
Okoth, Oita H. Geoffrey
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The analysis focuses, first, on assessing the efforts of local leaders at conflict resolution and those allies they have worked with in the process. Secondly, it examines the processes and outcomes of conflict resolution efforts, and identifies the factors that inhibited earlier success in mediation efforts. Thirdly, an analysis of these efforts is used to offer a prognosis of the future with recommendations for conflict resolution. In this study, the dynamics of the roles local leaders played in conflict resolution in northern Uganda was explored. It brings the multi level perspectives to the process of conflict resolution by showing how local leaders can be well placed to engage rebels waging a war that is civil in nature against the state and a government in power to a negotiated path to end the conflict. An exploration has been done of the factors that motivated local leaders to engage in mediation efforts, the roles they played which included community mobilization for peace, pleading with the rebels to lay down arms and engage in a negotiated discussion with government to a peace agreement and lobbying the international community including the United Nations (UN) and foreign governments to recognise the war as a national problem with international implications and therefore seek their indulgence to support conflict resolution efforts. It also investigated the stakeholders the local leaders that the local leaders worked with and the challenges they faced in their efforts to end the conflict. The study concludes by highlighting the fact that local leaders were a latent force in helping to find a lasting negotiated end to the northern Uganda conflict and they engaged the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, The Government of Uganda (GOU), the local communities and the international community to support and be part of the processes to end the conflict.