Gender Justice and Reconciliation in Northern Uganda
"The war in Northern Uganda between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Government of Uganda (GoU) forces dates back to 1986. In 2006, the Juba Peace Talks were held between the GoU and the LRA, mediated by Riek Machar, the Vice President of South Sudan. However, LRA leader Joseph Kony refused to sign the final peace agreement, and the LRA has been at large ever since. Military campaigns by all parties to the 20‐year‐conflict consisted of fierce attacks on civilian populations across Northern Uganda; raping, mutilating and abducting civilians; raiding villages; and looting and burning houses. The conflict has had disastrous economic, physical, social and psychological effects on the civilian population. As is common in modern conflicts, various forms of gender‐based violence and discrimination were used extensively by both parties (the Government forces and the rebels) to the conflict in Northern Uganda. During and after the conflict, women played important roles as combatants, in support roles in the military as well as the domestic sphere and in initiating community‐led approaches to peacefully ending the violence. Nonetheless, transitional justice discussions in Uganda tend to focus on male parties to the conflict only. This policy brief describes gender‐based violence, its occurrence and effects on local communities during and after the conflict in Northern Uganda, as well as the needs of the victims as expressed during the JRP‐IJR consultations. It concludes with a series of recommendations to the Government of Uganda through the Justice Law and Order Sector."