Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative

P.O. Box 104

James Nyeko R.D.; Francis Lokwiya
+256712625443; +256772(752) 348912
Since 1986 the major problem of the Acholi people has been the war which has now lasted 20 years and is still very much with us. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency has had a very devastating impact on all aspects of human life. This is evident in the massive displacement in camps, the increase in the HIV/AIDs prevalence rate, poor education and health services and many forms of suffering.
Recognising all these problems and the sufferings of people whom God had entrusted to them under their pastoral leadership, and with no one/structure at that time to send signals of the suffering people to the International community, the faith leaders of Acholi came together to form Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI). This is an interfaith coalition comprised of religious leaders and their constituencies from the Muslim and Christian (Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox) faiths which was created to participate effectively in transforming conflict.
ARLPI came into existence when the hope for a negotiated end to the conflict in northern Uganda seemed bleak. The primary mission was to engage the people experiencing the highest degree of suffering to participate successfully in the process of finding a peaceful solution to end hostilities in the region. However, while doing this they also became the voice for the voiceless/oppressed to the outside world, calling for intervention in various aspects.
The first meeting took place on November 27, 1997. This was followed by subsequent meetings of the Task Force in Kampala under the leadership of the Rt. Rev. Nelson Onono Onweng who was by then the Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of Northern Uganda – Anglican. The task force was comprised of committed members who came up with "Aide Memories" to UNDP for financial support and other documents which enabled ARLPI to be formally inaugurated in February 1998, in Holy Rosary -Gulu.
ARLPI had worked hard to engage the interfaith community to contribute proactively together to bring peace in Acholi land. It has contributed tremendously as a springboard for mediation contacts and advocacy about the situation in northern Uganda at national and international levels. Over the years, ARLPI has used an inclusive approach where stakeholders were involved in peace activities such as dialogue and mediation, community sensitisation and peace education through a nonviolent approach to conflict resolution, peace rallies, lobbying and advocacy for dialogue as the best means to settle disputes in conflict situations. Their activities developed meaningful relationships of trust and hope within the communities for peace which strengthen and maximize opportunities for peace and reconciliation in the communities at local, district and national levels. ARLPI believes that the role of the religious leaders in mentoring communities to create space for peace and live in harmony by reconciling with one another remains the essence of their focus in all their future engagements.
Their Work: 
•Community Peace Building through capacity building in conflict resolution, mediation, reconciliation
•Community Peace Education through sensitisation and awareness creation in the community
•Mediation and Mediation Services between parties and communities in conflict;
•Lobby and Advocacy for social justice and transformation human rights and integral development;
•Research, Documentation and Dissemination of Information;
•Women's Empowerment Strategy. We empower women to participate in peace building activities, human rights advocacy and to take leadership roles in the community;
•Networking and collaborative actions through exchange visits, connecting and being connected to people/organisations, building relationships and promoting harmonious co-existence.
Program Priorities: 
•Community Peace Building through training, sensitisation and awareness creation
•Research and documentation of events for future generations;
•Strengthen community mediation and carry practical mediation methods among the Acholi Community and their Neighbors;
•Community Reconciliation and Moral Re-armament to facilitate resettlement and re-integration of Formally Abducted Persons;
•Women's Empowerment to increase their participation in Peace work, advocacy for human rights and leadership roles;
•Incorporate developmental aspects, i.e. Economic livelihood activities, into ARLPI programs to make our Peace programs holistic and sustainable.