Env07
New trends, patterns and dynamics of conflict in Africa: exploring the rise in conflicts between farmers and pastoralists

Convenors:
Olayinka Ajala (University of York)
Ced Hesse (International Institute for Environment & Development)
Eghosa Osa Ekhator (University of Chester)
Discussant:
Camilla Toulmin (IIED); Saverio Kratli (IUAES Commission on Nomadic Peoples)
Stream:
Environment and Geography
Location:
David Hume, LG.11
Friday 14 June, 8:45-10:30
Friday 14 June, 10:45-12:30

Short abstract:

This panel intends to explore the disruption caused by an increase in violent clashes between sedentary farmers and pastoralists in Africa. It pays attention to the argument of climate change, competition and the role of the state in explaining new trends, dynamics and patterns of the conflict.

Long abstract:

As several African countries seek to connect through the establishment of the African Continental free trade area (AfCFTA) several issues such as corruption, conflict, terrorism, trafficking and high crime rates still disrupt growth and development in many African States. Although inter-state wars have decreased significantly and regional organisations such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have thrived, issues such as terrorism and insurgencies continue to create regional instabilities often reducing the much needed foreign investments. In addition to these issues, vagaries of the climate and rapid increase in population without a corresponding increase in infrastructure have resulted in intense competition for resources in several African countries generating either new forms of conflicting or changing the patterns, scope and intensities of previously managed conflicts. One of such issues is the rise in violent clashes between pastoralists and sedentary farmers. Many African countries are experiencing an increase in this form of conflict creating further disruptions to the economies and in some cases sustainable food production. The panel welcomes papers that explore the causes, impacts, trends and potential solutions to this form of conflict. Specifically we seek papers which address the following questions: How is this conflict different from other forms of conflicts? How significant is the climate change argument? What is the role of the state in exacerbating or addressing this conflict? Papers offering strong historical and empirical analysis of this conflict are of particular interest regardless of the region or country involved.