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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pastoral Politics in the Northeast Periphery in Uganda: AK-47 as Change Agent
Authors:Mirzeler, Mustafa
Young, Crawford
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Uganda
Military, Defense and Arms
Politics and Government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/161705
Abstract:This article examines the effects of firearms on the relationship between the State and pastoral communities in contemporary northeast Uganda, in particular the Karamoja region, which has been a peripheral zone from early colonial times. The area was never subject to the degree of administrative control exercised over the rest of Uganda during colonialism, nor in the period of relatively effective government during most of the first period of Milton Obote's rule (1962-1971). The article examines transformations wrought in the texture of State-society relations, and the social dynamic within Karamoja societies, where possession of AK-47s and other automatic weapons has become widespread since 1979. The escalated armament has intensified local conflict in Karamoja.The pattern of conflict not only reproduces rivalries regarded as historically rooted, but pits groupings which once regarded themselves as allies against one another. The younger men who possess these weapons elude the authority of the elders, and entertain ambiguous relations with the State authorities, whom they may serve as auxiliaries or resist. The culture of the gun, and the cultural changes triggered by the omnipresence of the AK-47, portend far-reaching changes in social relationships which are only beginning to work themselves out. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.