Recruiting Internally Displaced Persons into Civil Militias: The Case of Northern Uganda
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Faculty of Law 
This article explores the state-sanctioned recruitment of internally displaced persons (IDPs) into civil militias in northern Uganda between 1996 and 2006. Drawing upon international and Ugandan domestic law, as well as empirical research in Uganda, it provides an illustrative case study of the circumstances in which IDPs were mobilised into an array of civil militias. By applying a framework elaborated by the UN Commission on Human Rights, it discusses, and subsequently determines, the lawfulness of this mobilisation. When doing so, the article highlights how, in Uganda, civil militias were dealt with completely outside of domestic law, despite repeated calls from Ugandan MPs to establish their lawfulness. It finds that government authorities long denied any liability for the conduct of the militias, and argues that the uncertain position of the civil militias created plenty of room for unmonitored conduct and substantial human rights abuse.