Follow us on Twitter

Disputes and Dispute Resolution

You are here

Types of Disputes and Disputes Resolution

In all four districts, land was the most significant source of disputes at the local level; 63 percent of those who reported a dispute described it as a land dispute. Other disputes involved thefts (16%) and domestic disputes (16%). Among the households reporting a dispute, 60 percent said it had been resolved. Most were resolved by the LC1 (83%), and 81 percent said they would call on the LC1 to resolve conflicts over small thefts or threats of violence. Few (8%) mentioned the police. However, land conflicts were least frequently resolved; less than half of the conflicts over land (48%) had been resolved, compared to 81 percent of the domestic disputes, and 76 percent of the disputes over small thefts.

Figure 14: Local Conflicts

Figure 14 - Local Conflicts

Disputes over Land

Given the importance of land to resettlement and livelihoods in northern Uganda, the survey included specific questions to assess access to and use of land. Among the four districts, 91 percent of respondents reported their household currently had access to land. Among them, the most common form of land access was communal and/or at the clan level (79%). Thirteen percent of those with access to land reported having a title or owning their land; this was most frequently the case in Gulu (28%) and Amuru (22%).

One respondent in three (35%) reported having experienced a conflict or quarrel over who owns or can use land since the LRA and the government signed the cessation of hostilities agreement in August 2006. The three most common disputes were the boundaries of plots (34%), the land being taken by someone else (32%), and competing claims to ownership (32%). The types of disputes did not vary greatly across districts, although disputes were least frequent in Kitgum (23%), with disputes being more frequently over boundaries (41%) rather than ownership of the land.

Figure 15: Types of Disputes over Land

Figure 15 - Types of Disputes over Land

A majority of respondents who experienced land disputes (82%) had approached someone to solve the problem. The levels of authority most frequently contacted were the LC2 (43%) and LC1 (33%). Traditional leaders and the elders were also approached to resolve conflicts by, respectively, 20 percent and 12 percent of respondents.