Impact of armed conflict on pastoral economy in Kenya

The article ‘Gaafa dhaabaa – the period of stop’: narrating impacts of shifta insurgency on pastoral economy in northern Kenya, c. 1963 to 2007 by Zeinabu Kabale Khalif and Gufu Oba (published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 2013 3:14) looks at the long-term impacts of the 1960–68 insurgency wars and subsequent banditry on the pastoral economy in northern Kenya. The authors interviewed members of three Borana communities in Isiolo District to draw on their still vivid memories of the effects of the shifta (term used at that time by the Kenyan Government) in the secessionist war fought by the Somali insurgents with the armed forces of Kenya. They evaluate the impact of the shifta insurgency, the army’s counter-insurgency and the subsequent insecurity on the recovery of the pastoral economy. The research revealed that, 44 years after the conflict ended, the herds had not been rebuilt to the level before the war. Pastoralists in the three communities blamed persistent banditry and recurrent droughts for the lack of recovery of their herds. The article concludes that armed conflicts, coupled with risks of drought, have a long-term impact on the pastoral economy.

Posted on 26 November 2016 in Pastoralism & Peacebuilding