Creating Peace In An Armed Society: Karamoja, Uganda, 1996


  • Michael D. Quam


Located in the northeastern part of Uganda, Karamoja is a 27,200 square kilometer area of semi-arid savannah, bush and mountains. To the east, the escarpment drops down into Turkana District in Kenya; to the north is the Sudan; to the west and south are Ugandan districts populated by Acholi, Teso and Sebei people. Within Karamoja, the dominant groups are the Dodoth in the north, the Jie in the central region, and in the south a cluster of closely related ethnic groups known as Bokora, Matheniko, and Pian all of whom are referred to generally as the Karimojong. In the southeast, a Kalenjin-speaking group, the Pakot (or Upe), occupy a territory that overlaps the Uganda-Kenya border. Living in the mountainous areas around the edges of Karamoja are several smaller ethnic groups. From 1911 to 1971, Karamoja was a single district, but in 1971 it was divided into two administrative districts, Northern Karamoja and Southern Karamoja, later renamed Kotido District and Moroto District.