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The Miracle In Karamoja

For generations the Pian and Bokora tribes in NE Uganda had been raiding villages, and stealing cattle.  In the process thousands of people were killed.  At one time they had all been part of the same tribe (Karamojong), but now they were separated by a vicious war. They also traveled far from their traditional territory in NE Uganda to raid and kill among the Teso people around the community of Soroti. The Karamojong were greatly feared throughout Uganda.

The Ugandan government, the Ugandan army, and the United Nations all made attempts to bring peace to the region.  Nothing worked.  The raiding and killing continued.

Then a miracle happened.

In 2007 Dr. Valery Shean,  a veterinarian from Fossil Oregon who had been treating the animals of the leaders of the Pian and Bokora tribes believed that there was a window of opportunity to talk about peace between the two tribes.  She had been reading Ken Sande’s book, Peacemaker, and gleaned some good principles from that book.  She then invited five “grey heads” from Portland, Oregon to come to Uganda and share with the tribal leaders and other Ugandan leaders how they resolved conflict in their personal lives. 

The tribal leaders agreed to hold a peace meeting in “no-man’s land”, a 20 mile wide stretch of land between the two tribes.  “No man’s land” had become a major war corridor where the warriors traveled back and forth to raid. “No man’s land” was littered with human skulls.

On November 9, 2007 the peace meeting was called.  Dr. Val expected about 400 to come to the peace meeting.  2500 showed up! All at once they found relatives from the other tribes that they had not seen in years.  They began to hug and dance and sing. 

At the end of the three day peace meeting Dr. Val expected the tribes to go back to their own villages and she would then go visit them and determine what the next steps would be. But they had a different idea.  They said, “not only do we want to live in peace, but we want to live together in peace NOW!”

Today, just before the 11th anniversary of that miraculous peace meeting there are 25,000 Karamojong living in 60 Peace Villages in the former “no man’s land”. 

They have given up their guns and hatred in order to live in peace.  They are transitioning from being nomadic herdsmen to becoming farmers so they can continue to live peacefully. 

The miracle continues!

These people need water, education, health care, agricultural help, and community development ideas just to get them a little above their current level of subsistence living.


This is why Serve Uganda is working there

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