Back to search

New Fringe Pastoralism: Confict and Insecurity and Development in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel

This report focuses on the emergence of new fringe activities that have transformed the relationship involving pastoralism, the State and the traditional national and transnational mobility of pastoralists. The phenomenon is multifaceted in nature and has been embraced by only a minority of pastoralists, but it has had far-reaching impacts that transcend location. New fringe pastoralism, therefore, has national, regional and global aspects related to pastoralists’ relations with transnational, networked communities of interest. As this report shows, the communities of interest traverse the African continent in networks involved in international migration, trade and other licit and illicit activities. Therefore, this report is not a conventional study of pastoral socioeconomic production and reproduction systems as a whole, but instead is limited to exploring some new fringe activities with consequences for the present and future of pastoralism as a resilient and ever adaptive way of life despite the pressures and myriad of challenges it faces.

Land alienation and encroachment on rangeland for urban expansion, agriculture, oil, gas and mineral prospecting are among the greatest challenges to pastoralists’ way of life. They are also among the main factors driving conflicts among pastoralists, between pastoralists and farmers, and between pastoralists and entities awarded large-scale land concessions.The State is often a party to conflicts in pastoral areas, where pastoralists are forcibly evicted or denied access to grazing land. In this regard, as is explained in the section on pastoralism and violence, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel are the most affected regions.