Sub-theme 4. Commons between colonial legacies and the Anthropocene
Cross-border livestock Trade and Small Arms and Conflict in Pastoral Areas of the Horn of Africa: Case Study from Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya
The pastoral and agro-pastoral communities of the Horn of Africa are found in the Ethiopian lowlands, Eritrea, the whole of Somalia, the northern and eastern parts of Kenya and the Shelia plains of the Sudan, on the peripheries of Tanzania and Uganda. High rainfall variability, recurrent droughts, harsh climatic and environmental conditions are characteristic of these areas and act as constraints to development in this part of the continent. Recurrent conflict is another factor that has severely constrained the sustainability of pastoralism as a means of livelihood (Ahmed 2002). Pastoralists in this region keep a significant part of the livestock wealth. For example, in Ethiopia, 30-40% of the country’s livestock is found in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas (Coppock 1994). In Djibouti and Somalia, the total livestock wealth comes from these areas. In addition, livestock originating from the pastoral and agropastoral areas of these countries has substantial contribution to the foreign exchange earnings. Traditionally, conflicts have been endemic to pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of horn Africa. The conflicts have been between different ethnic pastoral groups, as well as within ethnic groups. The majority of the conflicts have been over access to pastoral resources (grasslands, water and livestock). Most of these conflicts have been going on over a long period of time, with very little attention paid to resolving them. Even today, most such conflicts go unnoticed and unreported – unless large-scale killing and damages take place and the state intervenes militarily.
1. Buying the Dead, Burying the Poor: Climate Change and Pastoral Drought Coping Strategies in East Africa
Kenyatta University, Kenya & University of Michigan, USA
Climate change in East Africa has resulted in more frequent and intense droughts. For pastoralists who reside in drylands, the effects of successive periods of failed rains have meant that traditional coping strategies are no longer viable. Restrictions on mobility and coercive planning policies have worked to disenfranchise already vulnerable people. For many climate justice practitioners, these changes as seen as colonial and imperial in two ways. First, while pastoral peoples have contributed the least to climate change, they are among the most affected populations. Second, existing policies to ameliorate the effects of drought have seen few changes since colonialism. In this paper, I discuss the second of these concerns with specific attention to state-sponsored policies to help pastoral populations during drought periods – purchasing livestock that are close to death. This strategy involves using large sums of state, donor and aid money to buy emaciated livestock from pastoralists. Often rationalized as a way by which to buffer the losses from drought, such policies work towards disempowering and marginalizing pastoralists, keeping them in their ‘native’ place, and not working towards climate adaptation policies. I open the black box of livestock off-take schemes to expose how these programs enable neoliberal investment and enhance corruption within state programs designed to help the most vulnerable.
2. Transformation of Organized Violence from Natural Reseource Management Perspective: A comparative Case of Samburu and Isiolo Counties, Kebya
1University of Nairobi, Kenya, 2Bonn International Center for Conflict, Germany
In this paper, we examine the impact of the formal institutions (community land act 2016 and devolved governance) and informal arrangements (traditional pastoral practices) between non-state actors such as Northern Rangeland Trust (NRT) —a Non-Government Organization, and the state actors, looking at how their partnership affects Natural Resource Management (NRM) in the pastoral rangelands. We focus on a comparative analysis of Samburu and Isiolo counties because these cases demonstrate a different impact of NRT on NRM. The introduction of the NRT, using conservation as an objective and applying what Lunstrum (2014) calls ‘green militarization’—policing the community conservancies and other resources such as minerals, has created the emergence of the armed rangers and hybrid state and private reservists in Northern Kenya community conservancies. The contemporary world is experiencing new forms of social order, and violence and conflict have become more complex. Additionally, there is little empirical evidence of organized violence from the changing social order perspective. Thus, we investigate how organized violence —legitimate and illegitimate monopoly of force practiced by state and non-state actors contributes to NRM and conflict/insecurities in Samburu and Isiolo.
Our paper will point out that NRM needs a framework of local partners to allow transparency and better coordination of priority investment set by different actors such as the pastoral community, global conglomerates, and government. We look at how changing social order and organized violence play in the partnership of management of resources, arguing that if formal institutions and informal arrangements between non-state and state actors on NRM are not checked, they can exacerbate conflict/insecurity.
3. The Nature of Armed Gorups in Kenya in the Context of Territoriality
1University of Nairobi, Kenya, 2National Defence University, Kenya
In this paper, we analyze the fluidity of territoriality —state control or influence of space, looking at how community-based armed groups (CBAGs) take advantage of semi-territoriality —spaces with limited state security personnel. We analyze the conflict belt —areas in north and west of Samburu County bordering Baringo north and Turkana east, giving an understanding of how the change of norms and development impacts the dynamics of conflict and violence in Samburu. The paper benefits from our Ph.D. research work experiences and networks from the community policing ICT4COP—EU Horizon 2020 and the CRC 228 project. Our empirical evidence was gathered from 24 interviews with key informants, such as state representatives and civil society, and nine focus group discussions with communities in Samburu and Turkana. The findings show that the fluidity of state-territoriality has an impact on human security, leading to community mistrust of the security forces. We recommend robust community-oriented policing as a devolved security strategy, strengthening the civil societies and community in helping to monitor and evaluate the police service. Additionally, mapping illegal arms and CBAGs through clan structures is a community-oriented strategy that helps strengthen territoriality and counter semi-territoriality.
Keywords: Community-based Armed Groups, Land and Boundary Conflict, Territoriality, and Semi-territoriality.
4. Grassroot Peace Building Initiatives and their Role in Conflict Resolution in North West Kenya
1Bonn Institute of Conflict, Germany, 2Africa Nazarene University, Kenya, 3United States International University, Kenya
Recent academic literature has laid focus on the increasing popularity of local dynamics of peacebuilding initiatives in contrast to the international liberal peacebuilding. The reciprocal relationship between the needs of the people and the culture of peace is one that has drawn much interest in the pursuit of sustainable peace. There is an ongoing discourse that Local approaches, while valuable, may be underutilized, while also facing internal challenges including capacity
and resource constraints, and weakness in the face of external actors and new factors in conflict.
This paper considers indigenous peace mechanisms employed between Pokot and Turkana
communities. It responds to a call by Jabs (2007: 1499-1500) for more detailed research on intractable conflicts in less developed settings. Through empirical research with grassroots community members it attempts to answer the following questions: What role do local peace initiatives have with regard to conflict management as independent actors and as partners of NGOs and civil society organizations? And how do local peace initiatives respond to new conflict dynamics and factors? The paper defines the “trinity of peace”, the three pillars that can be used to categorise indigenous peacebuilding actions: negotiation, justice and cooperation.