Dividing Communities in South Sudan and Northern Uganda: Boundary disputes and land governance

December 2016
Cherry Leonardi and Martina Santschi, Rift Valley Institute, Contested Borderlands

Report explores the underlying factors of land disputes and boundary conflicts; by shifting away from the national legislation and policy, it looks at changing land values, patterns of decentralisation and local hybrid systems of land governance as explaining factors. The solution to most boundary conflicts is likely to be found in the practices of negotiation and mediation that have always characterized customary land governance, in particular the long-standing principles of managing multiple needs and rights in land. In South Sudan and northern Uganda, land and the multi-layered rights, obligations and reciprocities related to its use constitute far more than property that can legally – or illegally – be bought and sold, from one owner to another.