THE IMPACT OF CONFLICTS IN THE HORN OF AFRICA A CASE STUDY OF KENYA
ABDIKADIR AHMED ABDI R50/81204/2012
A Research Project Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the Degree in Masters of Arts in International Studies, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, University of Nairobi.
I, hereby declare that this research project is my original work and has not been presented for a degree in any other University.
Name: Abdikadir Ahmed Abdi
This project has been submitted for examination with my approval as University
Supervisor: Dr. Martin Ouma
I dedicate this research work to my entire family and colleagues at work for their endless support.
The completion of this project could not be possible without the help of many supporters. In this regard I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor Dr. Ouma who provided me with the basic foundations on writing my research work.
The Horn of Africa has witnessed many incidences of violent conflicts in the last few
decades as compared to any other part of the world. Conflict and instability trends in the Horn of Africa make the region one of the most unstable regions in the world. Many parts of the Horn of Africa remain unable to break free of armed conflicts, violent crime, communal violence, extremism, political instability and state failures that have plagued the region for decades. Most of the region‘s zones of armed conflicts and instability today are concentrated near border areas; pose a major risk of spillover; and feature powerful cross-border drivers, interests, and actors. In recent years, regional governments have made a much greater effort to protect their borders, and their renewed commitment to address trans-border and spillover conflict issues constitute an important window of opportunity. However, few regional states have the capacity to effectively administer their remote, expansive border areas. As a result, much trans-border conflict management and prevention falls on the shoulders of local communities in partnership with central governments and interstate regional organizations. The resilience and adaptability of this collection of local and regional actors are critical factors in determining whether, and to what extent, cross-border conflict and instability issues are successfully managed. The study focused on the following major areas: The overview of conflict in Africa; An analysis of the Somali Peace Process and Sudan peace process, the causes of conflict and the impact of spill over conflict into Kenya from the conflict in the Horn of Africa. The study aimed at assessing the impact of conflicts in the horn of Africa with a special focus on Kenya. The study used the realism theory to explain conflicts and international relations. To undertake the study, the researcher utilized library and internet research. In this case, published and unpublished data was used to put issues into context and to justify the research study. All these materials were explored to help understand the prevailing situation in other parts of the world. The findings of the study revealed that resolution and management of conflicts in the horn of Africa has posed a major challenge to regional organizations, states, regional and the international community. The conflicts in the Northern Region of Kenya are no exception. These conflicts are mainly concentrated in the boarders of Somalia and Sudan involving pastoralists. In recent time‘s conflicts between host and refugee communities and within the community itself over the management of natural resources has span over time. There have been numerous attempts made by the government of Kenya to resolve these conflicts. Policies papers and documents have been written and revised, conventions have been held, but the major problem lies on the implementation of the various resolutions. Further the findings of the study revealed that recognition of conflict resolution and management in the Horn of Africa is lacking and the states in the region have not come out with detail policy document which can effectively tackle conflict in the region, beginning from the root causes of the various conflicts, how it evolved, and parties‘ concerned, attempted measures to resolve these conflicts. The international community is not more concerned with how to punish the perpetrators of these conflicts. The study recommended that Regional bodies and institutions in the Horn of Africa should play a significant role as platforms for interstate collaboration on security issues and conflict management. Protracted conflicts, regional insurgencies, and cross border criminality stress border and national-level response systems, and regional organizations should be considered very essential for monitoring, prevention, and cross border response mechanisms.