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Kampala International University (2010)

Community conflicts in arid and semi- arid lands (ASALS) : a case study of Wingi District in Kenya

Mijsili, Musembi Alex

Titre : Community conflicts in arid and semi- arid lands (ASALS) : a case study of Wingi District in Kenya

Auteur : Mijsili, Musembi Alex

Université de soutenance : Kampala International University

Grade : Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building 2010

Cording to the tenets of the three pillars of Vision 2030, the Kenya’s blue print for economic development, the social pillar envisages to build a just and cohesive society with social equity in a clean and secure environment. (Vision 2030, 2007:1). The vision is bound to operationalize the necessary policy, legal and institutional framework around security, peace building and conflict management for national and inter-community dialogue in order to build harmony among ethnic, racial and other interest groups. For this reason, Peace Committees being popular and successful in handling community conflicts in Mwingi district can provide an alternative mode of dispute resolution to the court system and cross boarder conflicts. This is justified by the fact that Peace Committees are accessible and operate in localized areas where the communities understand their procedures and conduct. Despite these strategies to resolve community conflicts, there are many constraints that make their implementation difficult and ineffective. The study was conducted in Mwingi district to investigate conflicts in arid and semi- arid lands (ASALs) : a case study of Mwingi district in Kenya. The study objectives were ; to find out the existing community conflicts and their causes, examining the challenges faced by Peace committees in preventing, managing and resolving community conflicts, identifying conflict resolution mechanisms undertaken by the Peace Committees in handling community conflicts. The research study employed a descriptive research design which is a scientific method that involves observing and describing the behavior of a subject without influencing it in any way. The major conflicts in the study area included ; Agro-pastoralists conflicts including animal trespass, land conflict, Banditry thuggery including murder, Domestic violence, leadership Mwrangles, Resource competition and tribal clashes. These destabilize the welfare of the people in the society. Peace committees being near and within the community play an important role in resolving these conflicts. The methods used by peace committees in resolving these conflicts included the peace committee court, Mediation, Arbitration and reconciliation of conflicting parties. Corruption, Poor governance, policy framework, poor communication, Resource competition, prevalence of SALW and inadequate capacity were the major challenges faced by peace committees in resolving community conflicts. The possible solutions to these challenges mentioned above included ; avoiding corruption through censuring corrupt peace committee members, Improved means of communication for the peace committees, promote public awareness on the work of peace committees to the community and the need for peaceful co-existence which empowers the community on issues of self-governance and democratization, Government to control the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, mobilize resources to support the work of peace committees through giving them incentives and allowing them to hold public gatherings, Building the capacity of peace committees through trainings for knowledge and skills improvement and improving the policy framework on recognition and legitimacy.


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