Negotiated Peace, Denied Justice? The Case of West Nile (Northern Uganda)

Artur Bogner, Dieter Neubert


“Reconciliation” and “justice” are key concepts used by practitioners as well as authors of conflict-management and peacebuilding textbooks. While it is often recognized that there may be contradictions between the implementation of justice and truth-telling, on the one hand, and an end to organized violence, on the other, the ideal of a seamless fusion of these diverse goals is widely upheld by, among other things, reference to the rather utopian concept of “positive peace” (Galtung). One difficulty arises from the fact that discourses usually focus on (post-)conflict settings that resemble a victory of one conflict party, whereas peace settlements are often negotiated in a context more similar to a military or political stalemate – a more ambiguous and complicated scenario. This essay discusses these problems against the background of an empirical case study of the peace accord between the government and the rebels in the West Nile region in north-western Uganda.

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