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Identification of Good Practices in Land Conflict Resolution in Acholi

Conflict associated with land has increased substantially following the return of peace to the Acholi Region with the return of internally displaced people (IDP), population growth, and increases in the value of land. The area is heavily dependent on agriculture and conflict related to land access seriously threatens to undermine development and the social, political and economic stability of the Acholi Region.

This United Nations study involved community members, key informants, and statutory and traditional leaders in three sub counties in each of the seven Acholi districts. The research examined existing practices for the sustainable transformation of land related conflict. It identifies and explores the interaction between the key actors with a particular focus on traditional leaders and LCIIs at the forefront of resolving disputes within the community: providing a clearer understanding of the capacity of these two institutions to peacefully resolve land related conflict.

The study reveals the efficacy of existing community level mechanisms in effectively resolving land disputes. While neither statutory nor customary mechanisms are without weaknesses, they continue to function and resolve the majority of land disputes to the satisfaction of all parties involved. The traditional leaders generally have the trust of the community, a sound knowledge of the situation and the immediate actors involved, and are well positioned to engage in ADR. Where this fails, they are well placed to document existing boundaries and the relationship between the parties to the dispute that can be used in evidence in statutory courts.

The findings of the study underscore the need to resolve the legal status of the local councils; strengthen their knowledge of the relevant laws and procedures of arbitration; provide them with more detailed evidence compiled by the traditional leaders; and formalize their interaction with superior courts to make them more effective and address issues of corruption.

Resource Tags

Resource Type: Impact Evidence Issues: Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Governance, Accountability & Transparency Tool Type: Reports / Research Method: Mediation & Conflict Resolution, Strengthening Customary Justice Systems Languages: English Regions: Sub-Saharan Africa Nature of Impact: Change in institutional / government practice, Change in law or policy Institutions Engaged: Chief, Court, Elders, Local Court Evaluation Method: Case Studies, Interviews