Uganda and Rwanda

Peace and Conflict Studies in the Lake Victoria Basin

Understand the root causes of structural and direct conflict and genocide while examining measures to foster resettlement and reconciliation in Uganda and Rwanda.

At a Glance





Courses taught in



Jul 6 ‎– Aug 15

Program Countries

Uganda, Rwanda

Program Base

Kigali, Gulu

Critical Global Issue of Study

Peace & Justice

Peace & Justice Icon

Development & Inequality

Development & Inequality Icon


Why Uganda & Rwanda?

Uganda and Rwanda offer important case studies on conflict causation, mitigation, and prevention. The war in Uganda ended in 2007, but its political, economic, and social ramifications are are still felt. Survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which resulted in the deaths of nearly one million people, now live side by side. You’ll visit refugee settlements and genocide memorials and examine reconciliation efforts in each country. You will discover what facilitates and hinders the success of these efforts and consider how these cases can inform an understanding of conflict elsewhere.

Both countries provide context that allow you to examine reconciliation models and push you to consider the roles of ordinary citizens, government, and international actors in these efforts.

You will also explore the rich culture and wildlife of Uganda and Rwanda through safaris.

Online and In Person

The program will begin with one week of online courses on July 6. The first week online will set the stage for the program, lay ground rules, and identify and begin to delve into the issues you will encounter in country, including history and history making, identity, nation states and nationalism, positive and negative peace, and direct and structural violence.


  • Learn how to critically assess measures to prevent conflict and mitigate its impact.
  • Gain an understanding of Uganda and Rwanda’s active resettlement and reconciliation efforts.
  • Be immersed in the cultures of both countries through two two-week homestays.
  • Go on a safari in Murchison Falls National Park.


While there are no course prerequisites for the program, psychological stability and emotional maturity are required to enable students to engage effectively with these difficult subjects.


Rwanda Genocide Memorial

At the site of mass burial of the 250,000 victims of Kigali’s genocide, the Kigali Memorial Centre is a place for reflection and learning. Through exhibitions, videos, clippings, and quotes, the memorial explores the history and origins of genocide, its impacts, the post-genocide period, and ongoing reconciliation and peace effort. Many visitors to the memorial consider this as a life-changing experience.

Ntarama and Nyamata

Ntarama Memorial Churches in Ntarama and Nyamata were sites of mass executions during the Rwandan genocide. Talk with survivors and reflect on the personal impact of the violence.

Rural Communities in Northern Uganda

You will go on carefully prepared visits to rural communities in northern Uganda to experience the dynamics of post-conflict resettlement and recovery, the opportunities and challenges that are encountered at multiple levels, and how these opportunities are forged and challenges are mitigated. You will examine interactions between the government, civil society, NGOs, and local communities and spend a day with the Justice and Reconciliation Project, which provides microfinance support to women victims of war.

National Memory and Peace Center, Kitgum Uganda

Visiting this site, set up by the Refugee Law Project as a repository for the Northern war conflict, will give you the opportunity to examine historic peace process and transitional justice events. You will watch proceedings of the International Criminal Court and meet key actors in the conflict and peace process.

Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Western Uganda

Originally a refugee camp for the victims of the 1959 Hutu revolution, Nakivale now hosts thousands of Rwandans displaced during and after the 1994 genocide. Here you will hear voices and perspectives that often are neglected in mainstream discourse. Here, you’ll discuss what gets left out, and why, in conflict and post-conflict narratives.

Eastern Uganda, Sipi and Busia

In Eastern Uganda, you will explore structural or indirect violence, including how it manifests in society and how activists and communities are responding to it.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.



Working with professors and people in the field of conflict resolution, mitigation, and prevention provides both a theoretical framework and a historical context in which to situate the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

You will start your trip in Rwanda and then make your way to Uganda. In both countries, you will spend one week in classroom discussions, readings, and lectures addressing the history, contemporary politics, and role of the state in each conflict. The following week, students visit carefully selected sites to study the issues firsthand.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • The social, political, and psychosocial processes that precipitated conflicts in Uganda and Rwanda
  • The history, contemporary politics, and role of the state in each conflict
  • A theoretical framework and historical context of conflicts in both countries
  • Measures that prevent and mitigate conflict

Peace and Conflict Seminar

Peace and Conflict Seminar – syllabus
(PEAC3000 / 6 credits)

The course examines the historical, political, and social dimensions of the structural and direct conflicts in the Lake Victoria Basin with a focus on northern Uganda and Rwanda. Major topics include the sources and root causes of conflict, political and social aspects of the genocide, migration and refugee issues, the UN Tribunal, and the Gacaca court system in Rwanda.


There will be no homestays during the summer 2020 program. This precaution is being taken primarily to protect homestay families from students who may unwittingly spread COVID-19 due to international travel. Instead, students will stay at hostels, hotels and guesthouses.

Faculty & Staff

Uganda and Rwanda: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Lake Victoria Basin

Charlotte Karungi Mafumbo, PhD
Academic Director
Janvier Ruhigisha
Office Manager
Mercy Atuhurira
Program and Student Services Coordinator
Simon Oola
Program Assistant

Discover the Possibilities


    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

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