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Illinois Wesleyan University

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Uganda and Rwanda: Post Conflict Transformation

Abstract

When the British left after many years of colonization, they left Uganda fragmented and unprepared for the democracy and unity. Each ruler of Uganda has continued to exploit the divisions propagated during colonization, and to this day Uganda remains very divided along political, ethnic, and religious lines. One of the most detrimental effects of this fragmentation has been the war that has been taking place in Northern Uganda for the last twenty-three years. As a result of many circumstances, Northern Uganda remains underdeveloped and generally disconnected from the rest of Uganda. With what seems like a very obvious divide between Northern Uganda and the rest of the country, it has to be wondered if the people wish to be united with a government that has for so long marginalized them; would the people prefer to cling to their Acholi identity of strive to feel proud of their Ugandan identity? This study was conducted by interviewing participants of varying demographics in the Bar-Dege sub division of Gulu Town, Gulu, Uganda. The main focus of the interviews was to determine whether people felt proud to be Ugandan. To gage levels of pride I compared the levels of pride in being Ugandan to levels of pride found in being Acholi, asking people to describe why or why not they felt proud to be attached to the particular identity. I also asked what would need to happen to increase levels of pride in being Ugandan. Although all participant described themselves as Ugandan, very few claimed to be truly proud of their Ugandan identity. This, however, was not true of their Acholi identity. Participants seemed very proud to be Acholi, citing language culture, and hospitality as just a few reasons that people felt so proud to be Acholi. When it came to being Ugandan, participants expressed that corruption and war, among other things, detracted from an overall sense of national pride. As a way of gaining more pride in their country, participants desired a more accountable and responsible government to bring balanced growth and development to the country.

Disciplines

Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

 

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