Voices of the People: Challenges to Peace in Mandera County
July 4, 2017
This report presents the findings of a year-long consultation process to establish the challenges to peace in Kenya’s Mandera County, as perceived by the local communities of the County.
Titled Voices of the People: Challenges to Peace in Mandera County, the report captures the first-hand views of grassroots communities across the County. It also includes the views of other stakeholders such as Nairobi-based elites who hail from the County; key informants in the neighbouring Wajir County; the leadership at both the county and national levels; and communities living along the international borders with Somalia and Ethiopia. It was imperative to seek the views of such a diverse spectrum of stakeholders because issues of peace and security in Mandera often have a cross-border dimension in addition to the tenuous clan relations.
Mandera is part of the arid rangelands of North Eastern Kenya, situated along the country’s restive tri-border with Ethiopia and Somalia. Although it has a near-homogenous ethnic Somali population, conflicts between the various Somali clans often degenerate into internecine violence, many times with cross border spillovers.
The following four challenges were identified and prioritised, by the local population, as the most pressing impediments to peace in Mandera:
- The lack of effective social reconciliation processes.
- The lack of trust between the local population and the security agencies.
- Border disputes.
- The lack of coordinated policies and mechanisms on cross-border security, movement, and trade.
This publication is the first from the Mandera Peacebuilding Programme, which is jointly implemented by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) of Kenya and Interpeace. The programme’s aim is to facilitate the achievement of an effective, locally owned peacebuilding architecture for sustainable peace among the communities of Mandera. It marks a departure from past interventions, which focused on ending conflicts that had already turned violent—often using the security agencies without subsequently addressing the underlying trigger factors for purposes of building long term peace.
Read the full report (PDF)