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Definition and Means for Peace

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While northern Uganda experienced a decline in violence related to the conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army in recent years, this absence of violence does not mean the community either perceives peace exists or believes that the current peace will last. While many respondents to this survey in fact did believe there is peace in northern Uganda (85%), less than half believed the situation to be permanent (44%), while about the same percentage (40%) believed it to be only temporary.

Figure 3: Peace

Figure 3 - Peace

Those who stated that they did not believe peace existed currently most frequently explained their response by stating that the LRA still exists (45%), and they fear the LRA may return (45%). Nevertheless, respondents generally were optimistic that lasting peace was possible. Eighty-two percent of the survey population believed it is possible for all the people of northern Uganda to live together in peace. Slightly fewer (74%) believed all people in Uganda could live together in peace.

A series of questions then sought to clarify respondents’ understanding of “peace” and how they believe it can be achieved. Most associated peace with freedom (73%), the absence of violence (38%), no longer living in fear (38%), and no longer worrying about abduction (24%). Fewer respondents defined peace in terms of development (18%) or reconciliation (14%). However, when asked what was needed to achieve lasting peace, respondents’ answers went beyond providing security, to include also socio-economic development, political reconciliation, and accountability for past crimes. Respondents proposed most frequently a need to unite the people of Uganda (32%), provide social services to the community (31%), reduce poverty (28%), pardon the LRA leader (18%), unite political leaders (16%), educate the youth (16%), compensate victims (15%), hold peace talks (12%), and hold accountable those responsible for the violence (12%). (Several answers could be recorded for each respondent.)

Figure 4: Definition and Means To Achieve Peace*

Figure 4 - Definition and Means To Achieve Peace*

* Due to the range of responses, only those provided by at least 10 percent of respondents are presented.


Respondents were asked specifically what both the district and national levels of government should do to ensure peace in northern Uganda. The responses were similar to the general suggestions given above, although respondents emphasized more frequently the need for social services such as health and education, and the need to reduce poverty. They directed these suggestions particularly to the central government.

Figure 5: What should the district and central government do to achieve peace?

Figure 5 - What should the district and central government do to achieve peace?