Home Institution

The George Washington University

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Program Name

Uganda: Global Development Studies


The Batwa in Bundibugyo are an indigenous minority group that originated in the forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, various displacement factors have taken effect that have forced them out of the forest. Currently they live in Bundibugyo District, Uganda. This study aimed at identifying those displacement factors while also investigating Batwa history and culture as they are a relatively undocumented group. The Batwa have various traditions they established while in the forest, such as unique methods for hunting forest animals. Because Uganda forced them out of the forest, many of their cultural practices no longer occur. However, violence within the forests that took place during the regimes of Mobutu in DRC and Amin, Obote, and Museveni in Uganda, all played a role in their displacement. The Allied Democratic Forces disrupted them in the 1990s and official removal from the forest in 2007 has made life excessively difficult for them. Various donor groups attempt to assist the Batwa; however, mistargeting Batwa needs has led to excessive challenges. Evidence of onset for development induced displacement is prominent in the development initiatives currently aimed at assisting the Batwa. The study questions how Uganda prioritizes minority rights, addresses malpractice in development.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Development Studies | Indigenous Studies | Migration Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Politics and Social Change


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