Resolving conflicts and building peace in the Horn of Africa

The 17-page technical brief “Conflict resolution and peace building in the drylands in the Greater Horn of Africa” prepared by the Technical Consortium for Building Resilience to Drought in the Horn of Africa (CGIAR Consortium / FAO Investment Centre) focuses on pastoralist communities in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudans and Uganda. The analysis looks at governance institutions, citizen-state relations and the politics of resource allocation. Most pastoralist areas in the Horn are persistently insecure. The nature of violent conflict in the region is multi-layered and dynamic. Conflicts that may appear localised to pastoralist drylands may be fuelled by drivers in institutional, political-economic and social spheres operating at national, regional and global levels. Different spheres of authority and a wide range of policies affect conflict management and peace-building efforts in the drylands. Customary institutions and authorities are widely trusted locally but have often been ignored and weakened by state institutions. Fragmented governance systems, competitive patronage politics, competing claims over resources, combined with weak citizenship arising from poor governance and negative attitudes about pastoralism are significant obstacles to lasting peace. There are no national policies on conflict management and peace building to support local efforts on the ground. Regional strategies for peace and security are not linked effectively to local implementation. Regional coherence is undermined by the proliferation of often overlapping regional bodies, which compete rather than collaborate over resources and political influence. The few examples of successful peace building drew in the support of both citizens and policymakers, were conceived as lengthy processes and explicitly dealt with governance, resources, politics and social issues. To be sustainable, peace building requires concerted efforts – part of long-term investments aimed at supporting dryland livelihoods – to strengthen citizenship, improve social connectivity and economic infrastructure, foster cross-border links and reform governance. The brief outlines key priorities for interventions.

Posted on 11 August 2013 in Pastoralism & Natural Resources, Pastoralism, Policy & Power