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From the border to the bedroom: changing conflict dynamics in Karamoja, Uganda

  • Elizabeth Stites (a1) and Kimberly Howe (a1)

For the latter decades of the last century, the Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda was infamous as a place of violent cattle raids and road ambushes, populated by fierce warriors. Using primary data, this article examines the shifts from large-scale raiding to opportunistic theft as well as the profound transformation in the security environment over the past 10 years. We argue that the combination of a top-down sustained disarmament campaign and grassroots peace resolutions have created relative stability for the first time in decades. This stability has allowed for the expansion of markets, investments by national and international actors, and the rejuvenation of livelihoods for many residents. However, while large-scale violent cattle raids are largely a thing of the past, violence and insecurity have shifted to the domestic sphere in the form of small-scale but pervasive thefts and rampant domestic violence.

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The authors greatly appreciate the generous project funding from a range of donors, including the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), UNICEF Kampala, Save the Children in Uganda (SCiUG), the European Union, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Irish Aid (IA), the World Bank, and Mercy Corps International.

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