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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Guns, Guts and God


While many African countries have adopted regional policies on arms control in order to achieve the African Union’s goal of ‘Silencing the Guns by 2020’, proliferation of small arms continues to be a peace and security challenge.

Four years ago, photographer and film director, Taye Balogun, set out to look into the status of arms control in the Horn of Africa. Balogun—who had previously led an Oxfam coalition on the Horn of Africa Arms Control Network—documented in words and images the role of young people in the trade of arms across the Horn.

Balogun’s research, which forms part of his on-going book, Guns, Guts and God, focuses on the Karamoja region in Northern Uganda and South Sudan. There, he looked into the origin of the weapons and the impact of the disarmament programme that was managed by the Ugandan and South Sudanese governments.

On 19 May 2020, the Rift Valley Forum, in partnership with The Carrot, hosted a webinar to discuss Balogun’s work and the status of peace and security in the region.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the securitized response by some governments in the region, the Forum aims to examine the mid and long-term impact of responses to COVID-19 on governance in fragile states and the engagement of regional bodies on issues of peace and security.


Martha Bakwesegha-Osula


Taye Balogun
Filmmaker, photographer, activist


Ambassador Fred Ngoga
African Union

Golda Keng Ajode
Institute of Security Studies

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