Trócaire: Protecting the Rights to Customary Land in Northern Uganda

9 Jun, 2016 | News

Trócaire have implemented a new research project, developed by the Joint Acholi Sub Leaders Forum (JASLF), focusing on the protection of rights to customary land ownership in Acholi Land (Uganda).

For more than two decades, Northern Uganda was embroiled in a civil war. As a result, more than one and a half million people were displaced, mainly in the Acholi Region of Northern Uganda. Trócaire’s Lisa Byrne is reporting from the region, and spoke with Anthony Oyoo, an elder and former teacher from Paimol Sub-County, Northern Uganda.

Now at age 80, Anthony well remembers the terrible difficulties that his community in Acholi faced during the unrest: ‘During the civil war, we ran, we left our land and we went to the camp and the land was left. We go and gather in the camp. We leave the land and after that when we came out from the camp, we went back to our former place. Some people were entering in the land that did not belong to them.’ He hopes that this new project will provide legitimate solutions that can protect the Acholiland, in order to bind the Acholi people in peace and prosperity for generations to come.

Paimol is just one example of places where land-related conflict is happening. Problems and land conflict continue to persist in the region of Acholi (Acholiland). In order to champion the interest of the Acholi people in protecting their land, the JASLF was formed. Together with Trócaire, it has developed a project to strengthen the security of customary and communal land tenure.

Dorcas Apio, Project Coordinator at Trócaire, hopes that the project will provide a greater understanding of the finer details of kin-based communal customary land holdings, to secure and protect people’s rights to land.

For more information on this project or Trócaire’s work in Uganda visit




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