2 Main objectives of the NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditMain objectives of the NR&TJ AuditTo document community perspectives on post-independence armed conflicts across UgandaTo identify and assess the outstanding reconciliation and transitional justice needs related to each of these conflicts
3 Methodology NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima District Three field teams comprising four researchers and one videographer visit eighteen selected districts equally distributed over the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Central regions in Uganda.In each district, concerned Civil Society Organisations are contacted. The teams conduct Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with four different groups namely adult women, adult men, youth and representatives of civil society and local government.There are fifteen participants in each FGD and the discussions take the whole day. FGDs are split into two parts, and follow a simple structure: The morning is spent ‘Looking Back’, at conflicts, their causes, their impacts, and the stakeholders involved, while the afternoon is for “Looking Forward” at the possible justice mechanisms that could be used to address the legacies of conflicts identified – as well as sending messages to key persons and institutions.In the course of each FGD, key informants are identified for further consultation. Findings are recorded on flip charts, through near-verbatim note taking, and on audio- and video recorders.Preliminary Findings are presented initially in these Briefs. The final output will be a Compendium of Conflicts in Uganda, supported by video documentation.
4 PART 1: LOOKING BACK Focus Group Discussion Guide NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditFocus Group Discussion GuidePART 1: LOOKING BACKA. Is there peace in Uganda? Conflict Timeline (national/regional/district/village)B. What were the Causes behind the conflicts you have identified?C. What were the Impacts?D. Who were the Stakeholders?VictimsPerpetratorsBeneficiaries- BystandersSpoilersPeacebuilders
5 Focus Group Discussion Guide BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditFocus Group Discussion GuidePART 2: LOOKING FORWARDWELCOME BACK- Reminder of purpose of second half: from looking back to looking forwardA. How does it feel to be talking about the history of this country?RECONCILIATIONTRADITIONAL JUSTICEAMNESTYTRUTH-TELLINGPROSECUTIONSB. 1. What does JUSTICE mean to you?2. Has JUSTICE been done to the stakeholders? How do you think justice can be done? What would you like to see in the following processes?MEMORIALIZATIONPSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORTREPARATIONSCHANGES IN LAW / INSTITUTIONSC. What messages do you have for key persons and/or institutions?
6 NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima District District InformationAt Independence the area now known as Hoima was under the jurisdiction of the Bunyoro Kingdom. After the abolition of Kingdoms by the late Sir Apollo Milton Obote in 1967, Bunyoro became a district. In 1974, Bunyoro was divided into north and south Bunyoro with the latter becoming Hoima District in Hoima District borders the districts of Kiboga to the east and Masindi to the north east. Hoima also borders the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the west. Hoima has a population of approximately 523,400. The main language spoken is Runyoro but other common languages spoken in the district include Luganda and Kiswahili. The ethnic majority is the Banyoro, followed by the Alur, Bakiga and Bagungu. Map of Uganda showing DistrictsAccessed at
7 Introduction NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditIntroductionThis field brief is based on data collected from Hoima District between 17 and 22 January Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were held with adult women, men and youths in Kapapi Parish, Kigorobya Sub-County and with civil society and local government officials in Hoima Town.The preliminary findings below reflect opinions expressed in all the FGDs and key informant interviews. The field brief reflects conflict perspectives and opinions as narrated by the FGD participants, which are not necessarily those of the Refugee Law Project (RLP) or its funders.
8 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima District NR&TJ AuditLOOKING BACKPast
9 Can we say there is peace in Uganda? BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditCan we say there is peace in Uganda?The majority of participants was of the view that there is no peace in Uganda. They said that there was some peace immediately after Independence and when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) had just captured power. However, they noted that this peace was temporary as it would disappear when several groups turned against the ruling regime to capture political power by force.The population in Hoima District has witnessed many armed and non-armed conflicts. The district is located near the border with Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) and Lake Albert and is also close to the Luwero Triangle so this has put the people of Hoima in a vulnerable position. The district witnessed the National Resistance Army (NRA) rebellion, the influx of Ugandan National Liberation Army (UNLA) fighters to combat the NRA, the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) insurgency and boundary and resource conflicts with DRC (over fish and minerals located around the border regions). People in Hoima District have also been abducted by unknown Congolese people. Due to conflicts in other parts of the country and in the DRC, there has been an influx of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the DRC, West Nile and northern Uganda. Also, Lake Albert attracts large numbers of people from other communities who come to engage in fishing activities. The participants noted that the above factors increased the population of Hoima District and resulted in the overloading of social services thus reducing access by locals.The discovery of oil in the district has led to the displacement of locals from their land without adequate compensation. The participants accused the oil companies and Government representatives of manipulating the system.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
10 Can we say there is peace in Uganda? (cont.) BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditCan we say there is peace in Uganda? (cont.)The district also experiences conflicts between the cultivators and the cattle keepers especially the Balaalo.Owing to the above conflicts, the population in Hoima has suffered on-going brutality and human rights violations. There have been no Government programmes implemented to address the consequences of these conflicts. Additionally, there are very few Non Govermental organisations (NGOs) in Hoima District that are able to support people to deal with some of these problems.At a national level, but affecting the people of Hoima, the creation of a multi-party system in 2005 caused political fights between the different political groups and supporters. This caused divisionism, anarchy and potential threats to national stability. The political conflicts have resulted in gaps in social service delivery, inflation, the emergence of pressure groups, strikes and demonstrations as well as security threats.A woman in Kapapi Parish said “I am not sure of the future of peace in Uganda given the sequence of events in the country that seems not very different from that of the past. Wars made me suffer gravely in the past. I do not wish war again in Uganda. In any case it should find me when I am dead. Our leaders are the major cause of these conflicts and suffering, I feel Ugandans should built consensus to denounce all leaders so that each person or family or community governs its own affair”.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
11 Conflicts Timeline: National Level BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditConflicts Timeline: National Level19661967197119721979198019851986200920102012The Kabaka Crisis (1966):In 1966, there was a power struggle between Kabaka Mutesa II and the then Prime Minister Sir Apollo Milton Obote. The struggle over power sharing started almost immediately after Independence and reached a peak in In the same year, there was a referendum that saw the ‘Lost Counties’, then under the jurisdiction of the Kabaka of Buganda, returned to the Bunyoro. The Kabaka, as Head of State, was supposed to endorse the results, but refused to do so. As a result, Obote used his executive powers to approve the results and the counties were given to Bunyoro. This angered the Kabaka so much that he wanted Obote and his Government out of Buganda. The conflict culminated in the 1966 bombing of the Kabaka’s palace which left it completely devastated, forcing the Kabaka to flee into exile. Obote eventually abolished all Kingdoms in Uganda. This conflict sparked off tribalism within the country.Tribalism (1966 to date):The participants cited lack of national unity as a result of tribalism, hatred, favouritism and dominance of the ruling tribe (the Banyankole) in national affairs hence causing conflicts.Abrogation of the 1962 Constitution by Obote (1967):In 1967, Obote amended the 1962 Constitution into what participants called a ‘Pigeon Hole Constitution.’ It centralised all the powers around him and his party (UPC) at the expense of the rest of Uganda. This was said to have been the source of many of the subsequent conflicts in Uganda, from 1967 to 1995 when a new Constitution was put in place. Obote exploited the loop holes he had created in the new Constitution, as did all the other leaders who came after him. This helps explain why Uganda has been subject to such a vicious cycle of conflict.Amin’s coup d’état against Obote (1971):In 1971, Amin staged a coup against Obote who was out of the country for a meeting in Singapore. This coup came after a conflict between Obote and Amin over unfair promotion within the army based along tribal lines and the threat by Obote to execute Amin as Obote had begun mistrusting Amin.Attempted overthrow of Amin (1972):In 1972, there was an attempt by a group of people in exile in Tanzania (FRONASA) to overthrow Amin. An armed confrontation took place in Mutukula but was unsuccessful as the group was crushed by Amin’s soldiers. They retreated back to Tanzania to reorganise.Amin’s overthrow by a coalition of liberators (1979):The dictatorial regime of Amin that had been characterised by mass human rights violations such as arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, torture and indiscriminate killing of elites, was overthrown by a coalition of UNLA fighters comprised of different rebel groups such as Kikosi Malum led by David Oyite Ojok, FRONASA led by Y.K. Museveni, and the Tanzanian People’s Defence Force (TPDF) popularly known as the “Wakombozi” (Liberation).The 1980 contested election that provoked Museveni to rebel in 1981 (1980):In 1980, there was a general election in which Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Democratic Party (DP), and Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) participated. These parties were represented by Obote, Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere and Museveni respectively. The election is said to have been marred by malpractice that included vote rigging and a false declaration of the results. It was on this basis that Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched his popular resistance Army called NRA and fought from to overthrow the perceived undemocratic government of Obote. Other rebel groups also emerged, including Uganda Freedom Movement led by Kayira, FEDEMO by Nkwanga, and the West Nile Bank Front led by Moses Ali.Military overthrow of Obote II’s administration by Tito Okello (1985):In 1985, Obote was overthrown through a coup that was plotted and staged by his Army Commander Tito Okello Lutwa under the command of Bazilio Okello Olara. Participants noted that around this time, Tito Okello brought in fighters from Sudan called Anyanyas who were fighting alongside UNLA against the NRM fighters.NRA military overthrow of Tito Okello (1986):In 1986, the NRA fighters toppled Tito Okello’s military government, ushering in Museveni and his Government that continue to rule to date. This led to instability in many parts of Uganda, especially northern Uganda.Kabaka riots (2009):Violent encounters between protestors and the police/military arose when the Kabaka of Buganda was stopped from visiting Kayunga District on his routine check-up of his subjects.Bomb blasts in Kampala/terrorist attacks (2010):A bomb, planted by Al-Shabab militants, exploded in the Ethiopian Village, a restaurant in Kampala. The bomb killed many Ugandans. This caused fear and outcry against the Government over the deployment of UPDF soldiers as peace keepers in Somalia.Economic crisis (2010 to date):An unstable economy characterised by sky rocketing inflation and fluctuation in the prices of commodities has deepened poverty levels in the country, leading to the ‘Walk to Work’ campaign organized by Dr Kizza Besigye and agitation for reforms by ‘Activists for Change’.Mabira saga (2010):The Government wanted to allocate part of the Mabira forest to an investor for growing sugar cane. This sparked massive demonstrations that led to violent clashes between the civilian protestors and the police.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
12 Conflicts Timeline: Regional Level BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditConflicts Timeline: Regional Level19871998199920012012Alice Lakwena’s Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) rebellion (1987):The Holy Spirit Movement started in Kitgum and ended in eastern Uganda (Jinja) where they were overpowered and dispersed by Government soldiers.LRA led by Joseph Kony (1987 to date):The LRA conflict has been on-going for the past twenty-five years and has led to mass displacements, loss of lives and property, emergence of diseases such as cholera and an increase in the spread of HIV/AIDS.ADF led by Mustafa Mukulu (1998-9):The ADF rebellion started in the Rwenzori region and affected the areas of Kasese, Bundibugyo, Hoima, Fort Portal, Kibale and Kyenjonjo. In Hoima, this group affected mostly Buseruka Sub-County.Land conflict between Bakiga and Banyoro in Kibale District (2001 to date):The Bakiga migrated from western Uganda and settled in Kibale in Since 2001, these immigrants have featured prominently in conflicts over ownership of land and district leadership.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
13 Conflicts Timeline: District Level BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditConflicts Timeline: District Level200620112012Leadership (2006 to date):The Bagungu and the Banyoro are in conflict over district level leadership and employment opportunities. The Bagungu, who are predominantly from Kigorobya, are agitating for district status to solve this problem.Land (2011):In 2011, there was a land conflict in Kyangwali involving migrants who occupied the local inhabitants’ land. The Government claims that the land in question is to be used for a barracks but the indigenous people claim it is theirs. It is still a point of discussion and has not been resolved. Land grabbing by top government officials in Hoima District and evictions was also disclosed as a serious conflict in the district.Oil (2011)):This natural resource has caused conflict between the Government and the local people over their alleged exclusion from projects being run by the Government and oil companies. The Government has not given them any information about the benefits or detriments surrounding the discovery of oil on their land. A participant said “we only see big vehicles passing; spoiling our roads and now we hear that they are going to construct an oil refinery.” Further, Government officials have exploited the ignorance of the local people and bought their land cheaply, displacing many people without adequate compensation. The participants expressed a lot of fear rather than happiness with regard to the discovery of oil in their region. They drew comparisons with countries that are producing oil but experiencing conflict over the resource like Nigeria, Libya and Iraq.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
14 Conflicts Timeline: Village Level BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditConflicts Timeline: Village Level1982198619902012Poverty (1982 to date):Poverty started during the time when the NRA based their fighting in the Luwero Triangle area. Many people took refuge in IDP camps in Nakaseke and in Nakitoma Sub-County in Nakasongola District.Conflict between cattle keepers and cultivators (1986):The local Banyoro and Bagungu are cultivators but face a lot of trouble from the cattle keepers who are mainly Banyarwanda, popularly known as Balaalo, whose animals stray and destroy the cultivators’ crops. The Balaalo make little or no effort to control their cattle. This has created hatred and sparked off serious conflicts that need to be addressed to ensure peace and harmony between the two communities.Domestic violence and defilement (1986 to date):An increase in poverty in the region has resulted in an increase in domestic violence and defilement. Domestic violence increased from 1986 to date after the NRA devastated the land and impoverished the people.Conflict between the natives and immigrants (1990):The Alur. who migrated from the DRC due to conflicts in their home regions, entered Uganda and settled in Hoima District. Since then, many have been accused of using witchcraft against the Banyoro. They have also been accused of practicing cannibalism. As a result, the Banyoro want the Alur to go back to the DRC.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
15 Causes & Impacts Causes Impacts NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditCauses & ImpactsFailure to fulfil promises by leadersPovertyCauses1980 multi-party electionsPoor governance2005 ReferendumPorous bordersLand grabbingInflux of immigrantsGirls and women were rapedKabaka crisisImpactsFighters loot propertyIncrease in armed robberyPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
16 Causes of conflicts NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditCauses of conflicts(CLICK once!)Failure to fulfil promises by leaders: This has resulted in tensions which often breed conflicts in the community between the leaders and the community members. The participants also blame President Museveni for his failure to fulfil his promises of compensation for the bush war victims.Colonial and missionary invasion of Uganda: The colonialists and missionaries divided Ugandans along religious and tribal lines. This caused a lot of tension that has escalated into conflicts along those lines.1980 multiparty elections: The 1980 multiparty elections that were alleged to have been rigged by Obote provoked President Museveni to rebel and fight the Government he believed to have taken power through vote rigging.2005 Referendum: The emergence of multiparty politics has also brought divisionism based on political affiliation and struggles for leadership in the country.Poor governance: Since Independence, each Government has been characterised by unfair distribution of resources, nepotism and tribalism that has led to hatred and conflicts over resource allocation and unfair treatment.Influx of immigrants: The influx of migrants such as the Alur and the Balaalo into Banyoro land has greatly influenced conflicts in the community.Overstaying in power by leaders: This has brought dissatisfaction and caused the emergence of pressure groups agitating for reforms and regime change.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
17 Causes of conflicts (Cont.) BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ Audit(CLICK once!)Causes of conflicts (Cont.)Arbitrary arrest by army and police: The community feels that they have been unjustly treated by the forces, causing resentment and violence among the community and distrust of the armed forcesLand grabbing: Individual leaders, UPDF officers and the Government have been involved in land grabbing in Hoima DistrictSky rocketing prices: This led to ‘Walk to Work’ protests that culminated in confusion and anarchy in Kampala city and some other major Ugandan towns such as Gulu, Jinja, Masaka and MbalePoverty: Intense poverty has led to an increase in social problems such as theft, armed robbery, child sacrifice to get wealth, witchcraft, drug abuse and conflict with the Government over inadequate delivery of social servicesTribalismCorruptionGreed for power: This has resulted in deadly power struggles by leadersPorous borders: The porous borders with DRC led to an infiltration of Congolese who abduct people around the oil rich region of Buliisa DistrictOpposition political parties: The activities of opposition parties caused people to be attacked with tear gasInternal wrangles: Distrust and wrangles amongst leaders in Government, such as that between Kabaka and Amin, has led to several conflicts throughout Uganda’s historyForeign influencePlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
18 Impacts of conflicts NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditImpacts of conflicts(CLICK once!)Kabaka crisis: Strained relationship between the northerners and the Baganda. This manifested after Obote’s death when the Baganda warned that Obote’s casket should not pass through Buganda on its way for burialAbolition of Kingdoms: Traditional institutions/Kingdoms were abolished by Obote in 1967, creating a vacuum as the people who were loyal to and believed in their Kingdom’s values and norms were left cursing and praying for the overthrow of Obote.The economy: As a result of the conflicts the economy has been hit hard because investors who could have boosted the economy were scared off, affecting economic growth and developmentGrave human rights abuses and violations: Grave human rights abuses and violations took place, such as massacres in northern Uganda during the LRA war and the violations committed in central Uganda by the Anyanyas and the NRADisplacement of the local people: Many local people were displaced during the fights between the NRA and UNLAForceful abduction and conscription of children: Many children were forcibly abducted or conscripted as child soldiers into the rebel forcesDestruction of infrastructure: A lot of infrastructure was destroyed, including schools, roads and hospitalsIncrease in armed robbery: There has been an increase in incidents of armed robbery that continues to destabilise peace in different parts of Uganda.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
19 Impacts of conflicts (Cont.) BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditImpacts of conflicts (Cont.)(CLICK once!)Increase in the rate and prevalence of HIV/AIDS: Immoral behaviour in the IDP camps and a failure by parents to manage their children has led to an increase in the prevalence of HIV/AIDSLooting of property: During the various wars, thugs, Government soldiers and rebel fighters loot propertyImmigration: The wars have led to immigration, causing population increases and pressure on social services. This has led to conflicts between the locals and immigrants.Decrease in production: Production became low and this is one of the reasons why poverty is on the increase. People’s efforts were not rewarded in terms of obtaining a market for their products. Others could not get employment in the production firms. This contributed to deteriorating standard of living.Girls and women were rapedDisruption of education systemPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
20 STAKEHOLDERS Conflicts NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 Victims BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictSTAKEHOLDERSNR&TJ AuditSpoilersPeace BuildersConflictsBeneficiariesBy-standersVictimsPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
21 Victims STAKEHOLDERS NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditSTAKEHOLDERSVictims(CLICK once!)Children who lost parents to wars and became orphans. Some were also forcefully conscripted as child soldiers, losing their education.Men who were in most cases involved in frontline fighting. Many were shot dead during the bush war leaving widowsBusiness communities who had their property looted by peoplePeople with disabilities who had physical problems and could not run away from the rebels were attacked in different ways including torture, rape and killingElderly people who could not escape during attacks were either killed or burnt in their housesGovernment officials who lost their property to looters and who were killed during Amin’s regime since they were the targets of assassinsOpposition groups who suffered at the hands of police who tear gassed them during demonstrations and the ‘Walk to Work’ campaign. Some, including Besigye, were arrested.Tribes that started the war. For example, the Acholi suffered from the effects of the LRA and LakwenaWidows and orphans who lost their husbands and fathers to warsPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
22 Perpetrators NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima District (CLICK once!)Soldiers and rebels raped women and killed civilians during warsHead of State (President Museveni) instigated the NRA fights that led to the loss of lives and property of civiliansPoliticians who were power hungry did all sorts of dirty deals to acquire and maintain powerRebels committed atrocities like brutal killings, abductions, rape and looting of propertyMen who beat their women perpetrated domestic violenceRich men who grabbed peoples land and wives because they have moneyPeople who practice witchcraft have been bewitching and charming peopleCattle keepers who graze their animals in ‘our’ gardens especially Banyarwanda and BanyankoleFormer Heads of State such as Amin, Obote and Tito who fail to pacify their citizens forces them to pick up arms against them. They are also responsible for many deaths/killings in UgandaArmy officers grabbing land in KibaleRebel leaders such as Kony, Lakwena, Mustafa Mukulu, Major Itongwa had selfish interests, causing them to pick up armsThe Western world selling ammunition to both rebels and Government soldiers, promoting wars in the countryCorrupt civil servants and greedy political leaders such as Amama Mbabazi, Hillary Onek, Mike Mukula have been implicated in corruption scandalsImmigrants specifically the Alur from The DRC bewitch the Banyoro and occupy land illegally.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
23 By-standers NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima District (CLICK once!)Journalists have the obligation to report but sometimes they do not report or they report inaccurate stories about conflicts in fear of hurting the Government or being summoned to account for the storyLeaders sometimes do not act and do not report conflicts to higher authorities so the affected people keep on sufferingReligious leaders role in negotiating for peace is key but sometimes they wait for a long time for the war to escalate before they do anythingOpinion leaders who only give opinions but do not act to resolve conflictsThe neighbouring countries such as Tanzania, Sudan, the DRC and Kenya did not help Uganda to fight rebels and some were even hosting those rebels in their countriesUnited Nations (UN) organisations sometimes support both the rebels and Government forces as they provide humanitarian support to both fighters and victims. They also have a role in stopping people who are fighting by sending peace keepers which they have not done in Uganda during conflictsLocal leaders who know the truth for example pertaining to land conflicts but in most cases do not come out to clarify or settle land issuesPolice have played a passive role in most of these conflicts such as domestic violence and land conflicts claiming that they either do not have capacity or do not have facilitation fees like transport and lunch allowancesOrganisation of African Unity (OAU) did not help to stop wars in UgandaGovernment negligence in preventing the rebels from abducting and killing innocent civilians yet they have the capacity to prevent this.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
24 Spoilers NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima District (CLICK once!)Opposition groups have always criticised any effort by the Government to end the conflicts and some have mobilised people to protest against the government for example during the strikes, demonstrations and ‘walk to work’ protestsWestern Countries have different interests. They have been playing double standards by having a role in peace building as well as supporting rebels with guns and providing other logistical support for their own selfish gainsCollaborators who sent wrong information, financial and material assistance to the rebels, ill advising them not to stop fightingJournalists sometimes exaggerate when reporting certain vital information that can either encourage the combatants to kill civilians or spoil peace processesBusiness Community (suppliers of food and medicine) will always want conflicts to continue so that they can carry on with their businessRebel leaders such as Mustafa Mukula, Alice Lakwena, Itongwa were persistently fighting the Government much as people were asking them to negotiate peace with the Government.Super powers such as Russia were selling their weapons to the combatants in UgandaIndividuals like Hon. Muganwa Kajura spoilt peace by grabbing land that belongs to the locals in Hoima District for his personal benefitCourts sometimes delay in administering justice or rule unjustly in favour of the richSome religious leaders support rebelsAcademics always complicate peace processesIdle youths and thieves easily support violence and loot property.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
25 Beneficiaries NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima District (CLICK once!)Soldiers who earned huge salaries and allowances during their operations in war zonesThieves who looted property and later sold it and got moneyThe business of the suppliers of military equipment, medicine and food boomed since the demand for these items was very high. Many of them received a lot of profits.The Government received a lot of foreign donations and aid to end the wars and support war victimsJournalists who wrote and sold articles on warsProfessionals who got jobs from NGOs and companies that emerged to support the affected communities. Even in Bunyoro, where Tullow Oil is operating, a number of people, both professionals and non-professionals, were employed to work with the company despite the existing conflicts with the community.Funding agencies whose interests were promoted since they were able to fund projects of their interestArmy commanders who got a lot of allowances and heavy salariesPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
26 Peace Builders NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima District (CLICK once!)Religious Leaders who were instrumental in praying for peace and preaching the gospel of love, unity, mercy and forgiveness. Some negotiated peace with rebels.NGOs such Caritas, World Vision, Red Cross, World Food Program (WFP) provided humanitarian support to war victimsPolice who enforce and maintain law and order in UgandaSoldiers who fought fierce battles with rebels for peace and many of them were deployed in many insecure places to provide peace and securityOpposition politicians have struggled to keep Government in check and accountable to its citizens. They have also been pressuring the Government to address conflicts in the country.Local communities who advocated for peace and assisted stakeholders in reporting wrong elements in the community to security or to responsible Government agents/officialsThe elderly and opinion leaders who were giving strong opinions and advice on how to address conflictsCultural leaders who have been participating in the mediation of conflicts and sensitising the population on principles of good cultural morals for peace. They have also been condemning wars in the country.Human rights activists who advocated for the end to conflicts that caused the violation of people’s rightsThe media have also been delivering or broadcasting peace messages to the communityThe Inspector General of Government (IGG) is trying to fight corruption by inquiring into truths about corrupt government officialsPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
28 Perspectives on Justice BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditPerspectives on JusticeJustice was viewed by participants as according equal opportunities to all citizens in Uganda, irrespective of ethnicity and political affiliation. It was also considered to be the fair judgement and provision of services that promote and improve the peaceful wellbeing of citizens.Much as the majority of the participants was looking for equal opportunities for all, they also valued justice as righting the wrongs committed in the past, for example compensating the NRA war victims and assuring them of peace while condemning conflicts.Another spectrum of justice was dealing with conflicts between the cultivators and the cattle keepers, dealing with the oil issue diligently and addressing conflicts associated with immigrants in the area, and addressing the rich and the poor justly without favour. Thus, the majority of the participants found that justice has not been done to the different stakeholders of conflicts in Uganda.Despite the factors listed above, justice has been done to some of the stakeholders in the conflicts including:An NRA major who killed the former LCV chairperson of Hoima District was prosecuted though he was not proven guiltyThe rich are being cautioned about unlawful evictionsThe emergence of institutions like Commission of Inquiry is a sign of justiceSome individuals affected by the NRA war were compensated, though the participants’ claim it was done selectively and without clear criteriaPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
29 Transitional Justice Mechanisms BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditTransitional Justice MechanismsTraditionalJusticeMemorializationSince the abolition of Kingdoms by Obote in 1967, the Banyoro traditional justice systems have not been resurrected fully, yet the population values it more than formal justice institutionsA CSO representative said that “the Government should restore the authority of traditional leaders to administer justice in the community other than coming up with bills that restricts their jurisprudence”In the past, the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and clan leaders were very active in administering justice and fostering reconciliation. The prevailing loopholes in the formal justice processes (e.g. discrimination, bias, corruption and understaffing) are driving the people away from the mainstream justice processes to traditional justice processes that have not yet been fully strengthened after the prolonged attack by colonialists and politicians.Participants emphasised that past conflicts and consequences need to be remembered for education and learning purposes to prevent reoccurrenceOn a sad note, the participants revealed that some accounts are being remembered in ways that do not provide a platform for reconciliation or a harmonious coexistence. For example, during the political campaigns, human skulls of people who were killed/died during the Luwero Triangle war were put on trees and road sides to highlight the wrongs committed by past leaders in order to lure people to vote for NRM. This act of negative remembrance hampers the healing and reconciliation process, promoting hatred and tribalismThe participants were agitating for remembrance through the building of memorial schools, roads named after fallen community members, organisation of memorial prayers and lectures, and hospitals as well as the construction of memorial sites that help to promote healing, reconstruction and peace.Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
30 Transitional Justice Mechanisms BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditTransitional Justice MechanismsPast conflicts in Bunyoro land left the population with painful thoughts and emotions, haunting memories, grief, loss and other negative post conflict reactions and perceptions that can impede harmonious co-existence or peace buildingIn the past, the communities had communal support structures ranging from family, clans, elders and the general community but such structures have been weakened and some destroyed by conflicts hence there is need to strengthen themPsychological rehabilitation and counselling centres are needed to rebuild the minds and wellbeing of the individuals and populations affected by past and current conflictsWar veterans and former rebels who have been granted amnesty should be counselled so that they learn to live normal lives with the community and be supported with income generating activities.Accountability is needed, however, participants stated that it is incredibly difficult to hold Museveni and other senior politicians to account. The perpetrators’ wealth should be used to compensate the victims and this should be reinforced by an acceptable apology.Those responsible for the conflicts should be held accountable for their actions/wrongs committed, yet people fear coming out because of current problems with the judiciary and justice processes in Uganda that are said to be biasedIn the community, truth-telling, banishment, mediation and compensation were valued as acceptable means of accountability, but because of the challenges in implementing these processes, many people tend to evade accountability, and those who are caught are in most cases punished communally through mob justicePsycho-socialSupportAccountabilityPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
31 Transitional Justice Mechanisms BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditTransitional Justice MechanismsThe majority of participants pointed out that the judiciary is an institution that needs great reforms to ensure formal justice prevails in UgandaThey cited that the lack of independence within the judiciary impedes its performance, efficacy and integrityLack of positive changes in the different institutions in Uganda was revealed as a major impediment to the country’s development and peace. The participants recommended regular transfers of employees from different institutions especially the heads of departments, adequate recruitment, especially of judges and magistrates, to ensure justice is not delayed, decentralisation of courts to sub- county level, support of cultural institutions by the government, nationwide civic education across institutions, recognising alternative justice and punishment and above all, proper coordination between the different institutions should be initiated since they complement one another.Participants revealed the need for reconciliation but also acknowledged that the current space and prevailing situation is not conducive for reconciliation to occur successfully because of a lack of Government efforts to initiate or support the process and also because of the weakened traditional institutions (Omukama of Bunyoro)All this hampers reconciliation unlike in the past where traditional structures were powerful in reconciling aggrieved parties through dialogue, rituals, ceremonies and compensationThere is a need for an institutionalised reconciliation team and truth-telling process with the involvement of religious leaders, the elderly, traditional institutions, CSOs and the GovernmentInstitutionalReformsReconciliationPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
32 Transitional Justice Mechanisms BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditTransitional Justice MechanismsTruth-telling is a virtue which is lacking in Uganda yet it is instrumental in addressing national problems such as corruption, conflicts emanating from the discovery of oil in Bunyoro land, human rights violations and failure to understand the causes of conflictsIt is an avenue to share experiences that can deter others from doing wrongs or rebelling because of the nasty bush experiences shared. It can also pave way for justice and reconciliation to prevail since the truths shall be knownWhereas truth-telling was credited as a mechanism relevant for understanding and addressing current and past conflicts in Uganda, the majority of the participants noted that there was a severe lack of State protection for truth-tellers which explains why people are fearful about telling the truth. This constrasts with what used to happen in the past where community structures such as clan leaders and elderly people would offer total protection to truth-tellersUnless motivation and protection mechanisms are granted to truth tellers by the Government and truths are used for the right purposes, the majority revealed that it might prove more of a liability than an asset in addressing conflicts in UgandaIn the past, testimonies by truth-tellers would lead to reconciliation, compensation and eventually a harmonious co-existence unlike today where it would lead to loss of jobs, unjust imprisonment to fulfil selfish interests, and revenge.Given the history of conflicts in Uganda that devastated the affected communities, the participants expressed a huge need for a reparations programme to cool the hearts of the victimised populationParticipants expressed concern over the lack of compensation for damages and property lost during the NRA bush war against UNLA and the establishment of rehabilitation programs to address the socio-economic and psychological consequences of the warsThere has been a lack of appropriate interventions, coupled with selective compensation. In addition, the Government and President Museveni have made numerous unfulfilled promises to affected persons and communitiesThe Banyoro want the incumbent Government to build schools and offer scholarships to the children whose parents lost educational opportunities during the warThe Banyoro also want a memorial hospital to be built in Hoima District and they want to be compensated for the cattle and other property lost during the war. An old man in Kigorobya said that “During the NRA bush war, we lost jobs, education, freedom and justice. We need all to be brought back”.Truth-TellingReparationsPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
33 Transitional Justice Mechanisms BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditTransitional Justice MechanismsThe majority of participants were of the view that prosecution in Uganda is not effective due to a lack of independence of the judiciary, corruption, and the concealing of truthsWhen asked whether or not the current prosecution processes in Uganda provide justice, the majority said that they provide justice to the few rich and those in power who can easily buy or manipulate the processes in their own favourProsecution processes should be just and transparentIn the past, the Banyoro used traditional ways of dealing with all kinds of offences including but not limited to public punishment/beating, banishment/ excommunication as well as levying huge fines enforced by the clan leaders and the Bunyoro Kitara KingdomAdult men said that the dominant tribe in Uganda (the Banyankole) is not prosecutable. They cited an example of a group of Banyankole-Balaalo herdsmen who were summoned by a sub-county Chief over letting their cattle graze in cultivators farms; they rhetorically asked him “Who are you? You are in charge of the sub-county but we are in charge of Uganda”.The majority of participants revealed that inclusive amnesty is important for peace building in Uganda as it offers a way to negotiate with the fighters (for example the Government and rebels)Selective amnesty granted to few individuals may promote more conflicts since rebels may hesitate to denounce rebellion given the fact that many of them could have been forced to join rebellion when they were minors as in the case of LRA in northern UgandaSome participants argued that amnesty could encourage more rebellion and the perception that they will be pardoned irrespective of the gravity of the atrocities they committedThe majority wanted an inclusive amnesty whose implementation emanates from a nationwide consultation of community elders, religious leaders and the public so that the people gain trust and confidence in the process and allow the beneficiaries to harmoniously reintegrate with the victimised communityParticipants emphasised that amnesty should be followed up by reconciliation between the beneficiaries and the victim or victimized community to ensure acceptance and proper reintegration as well as honouring the amnesty granted by the Government. The beneficiary would also undergo psychosocial rehabilitation that seems to be lacking in Uganda.ProsecutionAmnestyPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
34 Messages to Leaders/Institutions BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditMessages to Leaders/InstitutionsParticipants directed messages to different stakeholders:To corrupt Ministers (Engineer Hilary Onek, Amama Mbabazi and Sam Kutesa)Resign and be investigatedTo President Museveni:We love you so much but please restore term limitsYou have forgotten us, you promised us a district but where is the district?You are responsible for the impact of wars in UgandaSocial service delivery should reach the grassrootsJoin hands with the Public Accounts Committee to fight corruptionPoor people are dying because of the high prices of commoditiesStep down nowStop giving empty promises to the citizensTo Kony:Come out of the bush because you have caused a lot of sufferingTo Government:Orphans are not being catered for; you should cater for orphans since their numbers are growingReduce interest rates on the loans so that the poor people can access loans and do business to improve their livelihoodsCitizens:Join hands and fight for peace, have the spirit of patriotismPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
35 Messages to Leaders/Institutions (Cont.) BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditMessages to Leaders/Institutions (Cont.)To the Leadership of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and Ministry of Defence:We are not happy about how UPDF officers are grabbing our landTo MPs:Come back and check on the people who elected you and seek their viewsTo Leaders:Put promises in practice, don’t only talkPlease remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
36 Recommendations NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditRecommendations(CLICK once!).Judges should be selected from different political partiesSensitise the community on court procedures and corrupt officials should be firedMemorial and other commemoration events should be conducted in places where the events happened and not in cities and towns that have been politically identifiedInformation on natural resources such as oil discovered in Bunyoro should be shared with the citizens especially the locals who are affectedTruth-telling is a virtue lacking in Uganda and should be promoted in Uganda by integrating it into the school curriculumThere is a need for a national compensation scheme and programmeThere is a need for the Government to support the strengthening of traditional justice mechanismsGovernment should not interfere with the activities or operations of traditional justice institutionsGovernment should initiate comprehensive and specific rehabilitation programmes for war victims and affected communities in UgandaAmnesty is key to ending rebellion and peace building in Uganda. Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
37 Acknowledgements NR&TJ Audit 2011 -2012 BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditAcknowledgementsRLP is very grateful for the contributions made by different individuals and organizations towards the success of this Transitional Justice Audit Research in Hoima District. We are indebted to Civil Society Organisations in Hoima, whose representation was key towards the success of the research. We look forward to future engagement in transitional justice processes in Uganda.Finally, our greatest appreciation goes to all our FGD participants for sparing a whole day to actively participate in the discussions and to the Swedish International Development Agency and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing financial support for this research.This field brief was written by Okot Benard Kasozi with valuable input from Annelieke van de Wiel and Kari Griffiths, all of the RLP. The research team comprised of Veve Richard, Wamimbi Jimmy, Aliobe Joan, Opiny Shaffic and Okot Bernard Kasozi as team leader.Presentation prepared by Opiny Shaffic, with inputs and edits from Chris Dolan, Annelieke van de Wiel, Moses Alfred Nsubuga and Angella Nabwowe.
38 Acknowledgements for pictures & maps BRIEF 8 of 18: Hoima DistrictNR&TJ AuditAcknowledgements for pictures & mapsWebsites