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Former Combatants

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In general, respondents did not mention major problems with the reintegration of former combatants in their communities. However, our previous work in northern Uganda suggests that many former combatants face difficulties, including disputes and tensions with the community, when returning home. The 2007 survey found that 39 percent of former LRA abductees reported problems upon returning to their home communities. Former LRA abductees who spent six or more months with the rebels reported problems more frequently (68%) after returning home than those who stayed for less time. Among them, the most frequently reported problems were difficulty with school or work (20%) and stigmatization (18%).[1] Although not all combatants are former abductees, one can assume that former combatants face similar challenges returning home.

The 2010 survey did not ask as many questions about the reintegration of former combatants as earlier surveys. However, to allow for comparison between surveys, a series of questions was asked to measure respondents’ level of comfort in the presence of former LRA leaders in a range of common social situations. As was the case in 2007, the results are encouraging; a majority of respondents is comfortable in all the situations, including living in the same community (69%) or as close neighbors (72%). Nonetheless, comparison with the 2007 data shows that, overall, attitudes toward former LRA leaders have not improved. In eight out of ten hypothetical situations, the percentage of respondents being comfortable was lower compared to 2007.

Figure 16: Attitudes Toward Former LRA Leaders

Figure 16 - Attitudes Toward Former LRA Leaders



[1] Pham PN, Vinck P, Stover E, (2009). at n24