Assessing the role of mothers and wives of Lord Resistant Army (LRA) combatants in conflict resolution in Palenga and Unyama Internally Displaced Peoples’ camps in Gulu District, Uganda
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The study set out to assess the role of mothers and wives of LRA combatants in conflict resolution in Palenga and Unyama IDP camps in Gulu District. While conflict inflicts suffering on everyone, women in addition suffer gender based violence. This study describes the strategies used by mothers and wives of LRA combatants of different age groups in conflict resolution; evaluates their successes; and, examines their challenges in conflict resolution. The study is intended to give the mothers and wives of LRA combatants a voice which hitherto was lacking. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis. Respondents were selected by means of simple random sampling technique. The study established that through the use of both indigenous and contemporary conflict resolution strategies, the women had made substantial and multiple contributions in the social, economic, cultural and political spheres. Considering their achievements in each of these areas however, it is evident that most of their outstanding successes are in the social-economic aspect as care givers, reconcilers, mediators, psycho-social supporters and economic providers. While they scored on those fronts, these women however still faced an uphill task of contending with the social, cultural, economical and political challenges. The study recommends that because of the critical role these women have played in the resolution of the conflict, their efforts should urgently be supported by all stakeholders in as far as responding to their voices and unique needs and challenges in the peace-building process is concerned. They are a crucial segment of society which should not be overlooked by anybody if peace is to return to the sub-region.