The Multi-factoral Nature of Inter-Ethnic Conflicts in North- Rift Frontier Border Lands, Kenya: Implications on Pastoralists welfare and Livelihoods
Joram N. Kareithi

Pastoral societies in Kenya's North Rift frontier regions have engaged in livestock raiding and related conflict as a cultural tradition and as a form of ecological adaptation to an otherwise difficult environment. However, the form the conflict has taken in recent years in terms of the magnitude, the level of destruction and plunder and the norms governing it goes beyond the traditional cultural norms and motivation. Regional instability and the spread of illegal small arms has led to changes in the scale and organization of inter- ethnic conflicts, while a shift in the traditional political authority at the local level has limited the ability of the class of elders to control the aggressive tendencies of the young warriors. At the national level the politics of ethnicity and politicized discontent in the multi-party era has led to the re-invention and use of conflicts not just for resource competition but also as a strategy to settle economic and political scores. This paper focuses on the multiplicity of factors in the inter-ethnic conflicts in the North rift frontier region and the impact of the conflict on livelihoods. The paper is largely limited to the conflict in Turkana, West Pokot, Marakwet district’s in Kenya and their neighbouring societies in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. The paper specifically, discusses the ethnicisation of politics, poverty, governance and the warrior culture as key ingredients to the conflicts.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaa.v3n1a3