Challenges of Integrating Children Born in Armed Conflict; A study of children born of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Gulu Municipality, 1990-2003
Apio Eunice, a dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Human Rights of Makerere University, Kampala – Uganda.
Dr. Wilfred Lajul, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Makerere University Kampala
This case study is an investigation into how accommodative the integration processes are for children born in the enclaves of the LRA fighters upon return to the local communities of the Acholi people in Gulu Municipality. It attempts to identify the experiences both physically and psychologically, which affects the integration of such children by responding to the following hypotheses:
The Length of confinement in conflict situation has no implication on the psychosocial status of children.
The unconditional acceptance of children born of the LRA will foster their integration into families and communities.Without proper integration mechanism for children born of the LRA they will remain unaccepted by families and communities.
Data were gathered through non-participant observation, interviews with agencies handling former child soldiers, and a questionnaire, which also acted as an interview schedule. The study involved 67 children born of girls abducted by the LRA who return with or without their mothers from captivity, 40 mothers, mothers’ families, and selected community members from where the child born in captivity hailed, Two reception centres that temporarily held children returning from captivity awaiting tracing and reunification, organisations working to rehabilitate and reintegrate former child soldiers in Gulu and traditional leaders in Acholi. 17 children born and growing up among Acholi community were sampled as control group.
Eunice Apio: ”Bearing the Burden of Blame” May, 2008 in collaboration with editing support from Dr. Linda Dowdney for the psychosocial webpage of the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (www. Child-soldiers.org)
Dr. Charli Carpenter, Associate professor, University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with Eunice Apio & Others: ”Born of War” (2007)
Eunice Apio: “finding the Balance of DDR in Northern Uganda”; presented to the Phase III of University of Alberta study on Rehabilitation, Children and War: Impact, Protection and Rehabilitation (2006/2007)
Eunice Apio: ”Uganda’s Forgotten Children of War”, authored and presented at the XVII world congress of the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates Belfast, Northern Ireland, August 2006.
Eunice Apio: ”Challenges of Integrating Children in armed Conflict: The case of children born of Abducted girls in Northern Uganda”; Authored and Presented at the 4th World congress on family Law and Children’s Rights in Cape Town – March 2005
Eunice Apio, M.A. , Facilitation for Peace and Development (FAPAD), Uganda.