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Dissertation / thesis Dissertation / thesis
Title:Conflicts and Politics in the Tana Delta, Kenya: An analysis of the 2012-2013 clashes and the general and presidential elections 2013: A study among leaders and displaced persons on political influences on the clashes and consequences of the clashes on the elections
Author:Kirchner, K.
Type of thesis:Research Master thesis
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:African Studies Centre, Leiden University
Geographic term:Kenya
Discipline:Political Science & Government
Tana River - delta
Violence - political
Abstract:This study connects the topic of natural resource conflicts with political elements, especially elections and looks into clashes between a pastoralist (Orma) and an agricultural (Pokomo) community in Kenya. It analyses the clashes in the Tana delta which escalated in August 2012 from a political angle. The main aim of this study was to see how elections and conflicts influence each other but also which role other (political) aspects played in the case of the Tana delta. The Tana delta is a wetland area at the Kenyan Coast which is mainly inhabited by pastoralist Orma and agricultural Pokomo communities. Also, it is a fall back area for pastoralists from as far as Ethiopia, who migrate to the delta in times of drought in search for water and pasture. The area frequently sees conflicts which occasionally claim lives or even end in severe violence. The latter one was the case in 2012-2013 when almost 200 people died in ethnic clashes. On 4th March 2013 Kenya held its first elections under the new constitution which was embarked in 2010 and foresees a new government structure delegating more responsibilities to the regional level, the counties. This study analyses how the clashes in the Tana delta were influenced by these transitional elections and how institutional failure and legal pluralism contributed. Also, it identifies the root cause of natural resource conflicts in the Tana delta. Due to the fact that theories on election violence suggest that politicians instigate violence to unite their voters or to reduce the number of their competitors' supporters, this study also takes into account how the clashes influenced the elections. In this respect it examines which consequences the conflict had on the electorate, how it affected the popularity of different aspirants and what effects it had on the relevance of factors for the voting decision. (Author Abstract).