This paper analyses the origin and evolution of the Aguu, a group of street youth/children labelled as a criminal gang operating in the streets of Gulu, Uganda. Based on a series of interviews, focus group discussions, participant observations, archival work and literature review, the paper traces the origin of the Aguu to the conflict in Northern Uganda, and describes the transformation of the Aguu from street youth/children linked to war and displacement to their present day labelling as ‘criminal gang’. Anchored in an analysis based on Assemblage Theory, this paper demonstrates the complexity, multiplicity and fluidity of the Aguu identity as a group whose inception and evolution, both internal and external, occurs through a process of relationship between social, political, economic and infrastructural changes linked to war, culture, aid and politics, affecting present day security discourses in Gulu, Uganda.
DOI: 10.12924/johs2021.16020082 |Publication Date: 24 February 2021
Aguu: From Acholi Post War Street Youth and Children to ‘Criminal Gangs’ in Modern Day Gulu City, Uganda
Keywords: Africa; assemblage; crime; cities; development; gangs; post-conflict; security; street youth