Date of Award

Spring 4-14-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Prof. Stephen Volz

Second Advisor

Prof. William Suarez-Potts


In this thesis, I trace the evolution of the relationship between the Jie, semi-nomadic pastoralists who inhabit Karamoja’s Kotido and Abim districts, and the Acholi, sedentary agriculturalists who inhabit a homeland stretching from the Nile River in the west to Karamoja in the east, from the precolonial era to the end of the LRA insurgency in northern Uganda in 2006. The thesis is based on a wide variety of written primary and secondary sources, as well as on the extensive fieldwork I conducted in northeastern Uganda. To date, very little has been written about the relationship between the Acholi and the Jie, or about herder-farmer relations in northeastern Uganda in general. I examine the role played by state policy in entrenching ethnic divides and creating conflict between the Jie and the Acholi. I argue that the dramatically different ways in which the colonial and post-independence governments of Uganda viewed the Acholi and the Jie influenced the treatment that the two groups received at the hands of the state as well as the degree to which they were incorporated into Uganda’s political community. The Ugandan government’s divergent approaches to the administration of Jie and Acholi communities allowed the ethnolinguistic divide between the two groups to become politicized, and the Acholi and the Jie have often found themselves on opposite sides of Uganda’s various civil conflicts.

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