Betty Oyella Bigombe
Betty Bigombe is a former Uganda government minister and consultant to the World Bank.Since 1994,she has been involved in peace talks to end the insurgency of the Lord's Resistance Army of Uganda
Working primarily in:
Description of Work:
In 1986,Ms Bigombe was elected a Minister of Parliament and held this post till 1996. President Museveni appointed her 'Minister of State for Pacification of Northern Uganda, Resident of Gulu' in 1988. This post required her to convince the rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to give up their struggle. There were protests against the connotations of the word 'pacification' in her title thus,the post was renamed, 'Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Resident in Northern Uganda'.
In June 1993,she initiated talks with Joseph Kony,the rebel leader, after military efforts failed to defeat the LRA rebels. This began what came to be known as the 'Bigombe talks'.
She was named Uganda's Woman of the Year in 1993 for the efforts she had made towards ending the peace talks. However,in 1994 the talks collapsed and the insurgency intensified thereafter.
In 1996,after she failed to win the Parliamentary seat for Gulu Municipality,she left government service.
Betty Bigombe took a fellowship award at the Harvard Institute for International Development in 1997.She became a senior social scientist at the Postconflict unit of the World Bank.Afterwards,she was a consultant to the World Bank's Social Protection and Human Development.
Bigombe returned to Uganda after the February 2004 Barlonyo massacre to attempt to restart the peace process. She was the chief mediator from 2004 to 2005 and personally financed much of the logistics required in bringing the Ugandan government ministers and rebel leaders together.The last meeting in April 2005 fell through.However,the failure of the Bigombe mediation is seen as laying the groundwork for the 2006-2007 Juba talks mediated by the Southern Sudan government.
Betty Bigombe is consulted by both Uganda government officials and LRA representatives on the course of the talks.
She is currently a Senior Fellow at the US Institute of Peace.
Betty Oyella Bigombe
(At a Glance)
Place of Origin: Uganda
Betty Bigombe is an ethnic Acholi and was one of eleven children of a nurse father.
She holds a Bachelor's degree from Makerere University in Uganda and earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
She speaks English,Acholi,Swahili and Japanese.