Boundary disputes are not simply a result of failure by the governments to define and demarcate a specific stretch of the international border, but needs to be understood in the context of changing land values, patterns of decentralisation and local hybrid systems of land governance.
At a public lecture held by the Department of History, Archeology and Heritage Studies on 16th June, 2016, History scholars Cherry Leonardi and Martina Santschi presented a detailed analysis of the underlying causes of recent disputes and conflicts over internal and international boundaries in South Sudan and Northern Uganda.
In their paper titled; “Land Governance and Boundary Disputes in South Sudan and Northern Uganda” Cherry and Martina note the perception that land has real or potential commercial value seems to be the predominant driving factor behind land disputes in South Sudan and Northern Uganda.
Based on historical and empirical research in South Sudan and Northern Uganda, they explained how hybrid land governance mechanisms have the potential to contribute both to the causes and to the resolution of boundary disputes.
The paper was discussed by Makerere University History Don, Dr Pamela Khanakwa, who emphasized the relevance of history in understanding issues related to land rights but with reservations that it (history) can sometimes be invented.
See detailed presentation below