Current Institutional Affiliation
PhD Fellow, Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship 2015
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere Univeristy
Ethnic conflicts and the dilemma of ethnic identity in Uganda

How does a physical feature such as a rock or an immaterial object like language become a source of conflict? The purpose of this research is to examine the agency of language and historical/sacred sites in interethnic conflicts. The study focuses on two ethnic groups (Iteso and Jopadhola) in Tororo district in eastern Uganda. I argue that the Iteso-Jopadhola conflict in Tororo is first a linguistic question and second, an identity (symbolic) crisis. It is a linguistic problem in the sense that each ethnic group claims ownership of the name of the district, Tororo. Each of them believes they are the ones who named the place, Tororo. This linguistic symbolism is further compounded by the existence of a physical feature – Tororo Rock – which each ethnic group claims to be their sacred (historical) site, a further cultural symbolism.