Aringa is an ethnic group in the northwestern corner of Uganda, north of Lake Albert. The majority live in the rural areas of Yumbe District just south of the Sudanese border, and to a lesser extent in other areas of the West Nile sub-region. They are considered the indigenous people of their lands, which was later settled by so-called "Nubians". They speak Aringa language, a Central Sudanic language.
Slave trade was practiced in Yumbe from around 1822 to 1919. In 1919, the Belgian government signed a treaty with the British government to abolish the trade. Idi Amin was from neighboring Koboko and became Uganda's president in the year 1971 and ruled up to 1979. He had a strong influence in Yumbe District.
There was no LRA in Yumbe but several rebel activities were led by others. For example, the West Nile Band front rebel group was led by Juma Aurish, UNRF I AND II were led by Brigadier Moses Ali and Major General Ali Bamuze, respectively. Effects of rebel activities in Yumbe were a reduction of manpower, destruction of property (including buildings, health centers, schools, etc.), displacement of people from their homes, poverty and hunger, religious conflicts (such as the wounding and killing of missionaries in 2001 and 2004). There is now peace, more cooperation and development.
Aringa, like the neighboring Kakwa people, were blamed by other groups in Uganda for doing Idi Amin's "dirty work" in the 1970s. Amin was a Kakwa and his vice president, Mustafa Adrisi, an Aringa. After the Uganda-Tanzania War and the demise of Amin's regime in 1979, Aringa were persecuted by the joint Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) and Tanzania People's Defence Force. This caused them to scatter, some to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, some to Sudan, and the rest throughout Uganda. Until they began drifting back to their villages eight or ten years later, Aringa county was almost completely depopulated.
When the Tanzanian occupying forces were replaced by the UNLA in 1980, the UNLA engaged in brutal reprisals against the local civilian population, who were considered supporters of ex-Amin forces. In late 1980, guerrillas consisting of former Amin forces invaded from southern Sudan and forced some UNLA units out of the West Nile region. They included the Uganda National Rescue Front, based principally among the Aringa people, and the Former Uganda National Army, based mainly among the Kakwa. This led the UNLA to engage in further reprisals, large-scale destruction of property, and massacres in both Arua and Moyo District, leading as many as 500,000 West Nile civilians, including Aringa, to flee to Sudan. Many remained in refugee camps in Sudan until the late 1980s when the National Resistance Army took power in Uganda. In 1987, Sudan People's Liberation Army rebels attacked and burned the camps, forcing the refugees to flee back to Uganda.
They are primarily located in Yumbe District which is in West Nile (Northwestern) Uganda. Yumbe District's northern border is with South Sudan. The Aringa are also scattered throughout the West Nile and, to a smaller degree, in the rest of Uganda with small numbers doing business in neighboring South Sudan.
They are traditionally hunters and cultivators and they keep small scale livestock, mainly for home use. A growing number are becoming businessmen. They typically have large families and are hard workers.
The Aringa are primarily Muslim with a very small number of Christians.