Land Conflict

Land Conflict in Acholiland:
Historically many clans fought for land and community members also wrangled for land among themselves. The land wrangles were settled by the traditional leaders; Rwodi Kweri between persons and Rwodi Moo among clans.

However when relative calm was realized in 2006, people began to move home from the camps for the internally displaced persons (IDP) to cultivate the fertile land which in the past had garnered the region as the ‘bread basket’ of Uganda. During this time, big firms and personalities in central Uganda and in the government also began showing interest in acquiring land in the north. This interest raised anger in some of the legislators of Acholi leading to some remarks by some legislatures of Acholi saying, “…we shall spear whoever tries to grab our land…”


Since cattle had been lost as a result of the war, people began to realize that their only source of wealth and hope of rebuilding their lives was to be found in land. As a result, many began to look at their closest relatives, friends, and neighbors as being potential land grabbers. Therefore, 2006 marked the increase in land conflicts throughout the whole of Acholi sub region.


Remains of Store Room After 122 Huts Set Abalze as a Result of Land Conflict in Odek-2009

Reasons for Land Conflict:
  • The numerous displacements due to the war
  • Misinterpretation customary land
  • Greed
  • Diversion of communally owned land
  • Incitement from foreigners
  •  Death of Elders
  •  Poverty and commercial motives
  •  Increase in population
  •  Loss of boundary markers
  • Segregation of people along clan lines 
  • Grouping in land matters
  • Misuse of money
  • Migration of ancestors versus the land law
  • Wrongful actions of some cultural leaders
  • Limited areas of some people/clan
  • Defiant nature of some youths
  • Rejection of people previously welcomed
  • Manipulation of previous offenses for land claims
  •  Return of former offenders
  • Breaking of contracts

LCI With Spear Wounds After Attack Related to Land Conflict in Odek-2009


Mitigating Land Conflict:
In an effort to promote peace and harmonious co-existence among the people of Acholi, ARLPI has been working tirelessly to prevent and mitigate land conflict in the region.
ARLPI has conducted the following:
  • Mediate land conflicts between, clans, individuals, etc.
  • Sensitized community members about land rights, procedures and structures available to nonviolently resolve land conflict.
  • Trained community leaders in land mitigation strategies.
  • Brought the various land structures together to dialogue and work in a more collaborative fashion.
  • Formation of 'Land Conflict Mitigation Committees'
  • Conducted research on the causes of land conflict.

Past Initiatives:
ARLPI Pilots Land Conflict Mitigation Project in Lamogi
ARLPI Documents:


        ARLPI Program Officer, Ochan George, Mediating Land Conflict
Land Conflict Complaintant Showing ARLPI's Land Mitigation Committee the Boundaries of His Land in Patongo, Pader-2009
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