Addressing insecurity in pastoralist areas of Somalia and Mali

The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies has issued a policy brief “Cooling up the drylands: disentangling the pastoralist security nexus” (2017, 8pp) by Edoardo Baldaro and Michele Nori, which explores the dynamics, trends and challenges in some pastoral areas in Africa. Cases from northeast Somalia and north Mali provide insights into how geopolitical, economic and climatic changes are reshaping pastoral spaces, economies and societies. The complex interplay between global trends, regional arrangements and local transformations poses challenges to pastoralist communities, as conflict and insecurity exacerbate the vulnerability of their livelihoods. Some communities are developing new strategies to adapt to the changed context, including greater market integration, emigration or shifting out of pastoralism, and engaging in illicit activities or supporting insurgent or terrorist groups.

Policymakers should be aware of these dynamics and pastoral communities’ responses, in order to develop innovative policy solutions for pastoral areas. The authors argue that national policymakers need to recognise pastoralists as the most effective allies to keep rangelands safe and productive in order to attain peace, security and development in these regions.

Posted on 4 November 2017 in Pastoralism & Peacebuilding