Exposure to War Crimes and Implications for Peace Building in Northern Uganda

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Patrick Vinck, Eric Stover, Phuong Pham, Harvey Weinstein
Publication Date
August 1, 2007
Publication Type
Journal Article


Since the late 1980s, the Lord’s Resistance Army has waged war against the Ugandan People’s Democratic Army and the people of northern Uganda. Ending the conflict and achieving peace have proven to be challenges. In this context, it is important to examine population-based data on exposure to war crimes to understand how survivors perceive mechanisms aimed at achieving a lasting peace. We assessed the level of exposure to war-related violence and the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms in northern Uganda and to determine how these variables are associated with respondents’ views about peace. Our study found high prevalence rates for symptoms of PTSD and depression in a conflict zone. Respondents reporting symptoms of PTSD and depression were more likely to favor violent over nonviolent means to end the conflict.