Monday, September 25, 2017


Learning from the ancestors is one thing that we downplay but the Acholi sub region found in the Northern Part of Uganda, took advantage of the Acholi tradition of making peace under one of the oldest trees "Oput". The tradition dates back to medieval age but that did not stop the modern Acholi elders from performing rituals that would enable the community heal from the wounds of violent conflicts. We call the ritual "Muto Oput"  reconciliation under the tree (oput) done to families or communities that were involved in violent conflict leading to loss of lives.
Parabongo Survivors performing the"Muto Oput" 13th Sept. 2017 at Parabongo Primary School, Amuru District
RWECO led a team of 62 foot peace ambassadors for a learning visit to Acholi sub region in Northern Uganda. The RWECO team  was hosted by ACORD and JRP in Gulu from 11-14th, Sept. 2017. The main purpose of the learning visit to appreciate the approaches of conflict management used by the communities in the Acholi sub region that was faced with violent conflicts for 25 years. From the learning visit, the team appreciated the triangulation of approaches in peace building and the involvement of religious leaders, cultural leaders and the political leaders to end the northern Uganda insurgence.
Bishop Ochola ( middle in colar), Secretary of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative ( ARLPI) with RWECO team at JRP, 12th Sept. 2017 
Stop violence- Bishop Ochola tells the RWECO team at JRP-Office Board room-12th Sept, 2017
" We formed Peace Committees in every sub county in the Acholi sub region, as a mechanism to sensitize the members of the community to regard the formally abducted children as victims of circumstance"

RWECO team participating in a dance with the Women Network group in Gulu Municipality, 13th-Sept. 2017
Experience sharing was one way of recovering from the trauma caused by the life in captivity
Mr. Simon Peter, vice chairperson Gulu District, giving presentation on the role of political leaders in the pacification of Acholi sub region- 12th-Sept. 2017
"We have putt a side the political parties and focused on developed, the Hon. Mama Santa is the secretary for social services, President assistant but she is  member of the executive where the district chairperson is FDC" here we talk of development and dialogue.

A jovial welcome at Parabongo Primary School, Amuru district- 13th-Sept. 2017
Participants getting ready for the field day in Gulu- 12th-Sept. 2017
Group photo after pre-visit meeting at ACORD Office, 28th-August, 2017
Lessons from the learning visit to Gulu

1. The  four pillars of peace:  Truth, Mercy, Peace and Justice
2. Local community support to peace building was vital for ending the violence in the Acholi sub region
3. Respect and tolerance for each other, approach by the Acholi Religious leaders peace Initiative used as a tool to accommodate each despite of the religious beliefs
4. Use of different approaches by cultural leaders, religious leaders and the political support
5. The government of Uganda and the international community  role in ending the insurgence

Main challenge:

1. Accepting the survivors and their children born in captivity
2. Livelihoods integration into peace recovery programs was not well planned given the nature and coverage of the program to include other districts

Compiled by:

Jimmy Odyek

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