Nadin Saxer, MA


Nadin Saxer first started with studying history, sociology and political science at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. In 2005, she continued with the Master in African Studies at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Her main interests lie in international cooperation  and humanitarian work, colonial history, postcolonial theory and conflicts as well as development and sustainable livelihoods in post-conflict settings.

In order to add first-hand experience to her theoretical knowledge, she applied for an internship at the Ugandan Red Cross. This offered her the opportunity to get insights into humanitarian work and to obtain an overview over the conflict in the northern part of Uganda. As a result of this experience, she decided to dedicate her master thesis to the topic of  LRA returnees – being often youths who had been abducted in order to become a member of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Nadin graduated in autumn 2008. Nadin currently lives and works in Tbilisi, Georgia.

MA Thesis

Coming Home: Reintegrating Male Returnees from the Lord's Resistance Army in Northern Uganda

Nadin Saxer’s Master Thesis deals with the conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Ugandan government in northern Uganda. She was interested in exploring livelihood strategies and expectations of returnees, as the following abstract describes:

Thousands of people – many of whom were still children or adolescents – have been abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. Some of them returned home soon, others stayed for years and fulfilled various tasks from fighting over cooking, carrying goods, and spying to being a wife and caring for children. The majority escaped after a while. This thesis describes their long way home – from escaping to a reception centre to finally being reunified with family members. It looks at expectations returnees have towards their life back at home and compares them to the experiences they make. Results from a qualitative research concerning expectations and experiences of six male returnees are presented and compared with results from quantitative surveys made by various organisations. The goal of the thesis is to highlight challenges and positive results of reintegrating ‘former child soldiers’. It aims at being one piece of the puzzle of the learning process around designs for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.