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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Colonial resource capture: triggers of ethnic conflicts in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya, 1903-1930s
Author:Oba, GufuISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:ethnic conflicts
water resources
colonial policy
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17531055.2011.611666
Abstract:This article uses the resource scarcity-violence model of T.F. Homer-Dixon (1999) to analyse the drivers of conflicts between ethnic groups that shared the precolonial ethnic frontiers of trans-Jubaland-Wajir and competed over water sources during the colonial period in the Northern Frontier District (NFD) of Kenya from 1903 to 1939. The article compares ethnic relations between the Borana Oromo-Ajuran alliance and the Hawiya and Darood family clans of Somali pastoralists. The article shows that precolonial ethnic conflicts were not induced by resource scarcity. Rather, extended periods of peace punctuated by conflicts were associated more with social and political relations. By contrast, the colonial period, with far more restrictive resource access to wells and grazing lands, resulted in structural changes in resource scarcity. Colonial resource governance was incapable of stopping the pressures from migrants threatening resident populations. Residents were finally displaced and former alliances broken up. The competition resulted in violent conflicts due to structural changes that altered rights to resources. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]