Peacebuilding in Africa
Lecture at Saint Joseph's University to discuss Ugandan conflict
Friday, October 3, 2008
PHILADELPHIA (September 30, 2008) – Sr. Pauline Silver Acayo, a peace officer working in Uganda for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), will visit Saint Joseph's University on October 7 to discuss the conflict between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group. Her lecture, "Peacebuilding in Africa: the Case of Uganda," will be held at 7 p.m. in the Presidents' Lounge of Campion Student Center.
The LRA has been fighting with the government of Uganda in the north since the 1980s. The group has terrorized and abducted thousands of Ugandans, forcing 2 million to live in camps for displaced people for safety. Throughout the conflict, CRS has provided humanitarian aid to help those in need and has promoted peace in affected communities. As part of her lecture, Sr. Acayo will provide firsthand accounts of her own escape from abduction by the rebels, the impact of the fighting on local communities, and CRS’ efforts to promote peace in the region.
A native of northern Uganda, Sr. Acayo oversees CRS’ peacebuilding projects in the area. These include reconciliation ceremonies for returning adults and children who were abducted by the LRA, dialogue and mediation among varying ethnic groups, establishment of peace groups, and workshops to increase communities’ conflict resolution skills.
Sr. Acayo has spoken at numerous seminars, workshops and conferences in Africa and the United States. She was chosen as one of the Women Peacemakers of the Year in 2005 by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice in San Diego and received a certificate of recognition in 2006 for her peacebuilding work from the New York-based Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children.