Volume 20, Issue 2, 2010
Peacebuilding in Africa
Todd David Whitmore
“My Tribe is Humanity”
An Interview with Archbishop John Baptist Odama
In August 2006, after twenty years of armed conflict, the Ugandan government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army came to a ceasefire agreement. While the LRA has moved its activity into neighboring countries, there has been peace—or at least the absence of overt conflict—in Uganda. The ecumenical Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) was critical in mediating between the two parties in the months leading up to the talks. Archbishop John Baptist Odama has been Chairperson of ARLPI since 2002. Previous interviews with him have been short and focused on only his external actions—the negotiations with the LRA, the acts of solidarity with displaced people, children in particular. In the present interview, however, Archbishop Odama discusses the spiritual formation, the devotional practices, and the deep theology that inform his actions on behalf of peace and justice.