Peace-building in Amuru sub-county | ACORD Uganda
The Amuru sub-county Peace Committee serves all the six parishes dispersed across the sub-county. The group is made of thirty members (nine women and 21 men). Members are encouraging more women to participate, as this would get the peace messages to groups such as children and youth who the women interact with in the domestic setting.
“We received communication from the Community Development Officer at the sub-county that an organization called ACORD wanted committed individuals to be trained so that they can volunteer in conflict resolution in our communities,” said Dennis Acwera, a member of the Peace Committee in Amuru District, northern Uganda.
Aluoch Consy, one of the nine women members of the Peace Committee noted that many women did not get the communication from the Community Development Officer at the recruitment stage, while others are still very shy and cannot comfortably voice their concerns.
“I was lucky to be a councilor at the sub-county, so I heard the news and even shared with some of my women friends,” she said.
Aluoch shared that she had led the Peace Committee in organising a dialogue meeting in Toro Parish in Amuru to guide discussions on how land conflict affects women in the parish and the sub-county at large.
From the dialogue, participants noted that most of the people who are affected by land conflicts were widows, most of who lost their husbands during the Lords’ Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency and cannot claim ownership of any land in their communities. Aluoch noted that these women have also not been able to report conflict cases to structures such as the Peace Committees. The committee has intervened in such cases and negotiations reached between the conflicting parties.
“ACORD trained us in conflict resolution and mediation and drama training so we can sensitise others through role plays,” said Okello Michael, who also doubles as a peer educator trained by ACORD. “We introduce ourselves through community gatherings for people to recognize us and contact us with conflict-related concerns and so we report criminal offences and refer complicated situations to the authorities.”
Denis Acwera, one of the Peace Committee members, said that in August 2014, 12 members of this group were facilitated by ACORD to visit other peace-building initiatives in western Uganda and learn from them.
“They visited Rwenzori Forum for Peace and Justice,” he said. “Their peace initiatives are different and are led by the district and reach all community members. The district requires that all households are registered and that they participate in specific activities aimed at promoting peace.”