Precursors to Violence: Neglect and Politics in Darfur, Oromia, and the Tana Delta
Despite occasional disputes, nomads and farmers, whether Arab and Fur, Oromo and Gumuz, or Oromo and Pokomo, had lived well together for centuries and expect to continue into the future, and, therefore, they take pains to resolve conflicts amicably. In the absence of effective government protection, they need each other, and indeed, there have been strong commercial relations among them all. Lack of genuine developmental initiative and implementation, and poor road networks, education, health services, and law enforcement facilities played a central role in fueling conflict among them. The chapter argues that non-transparent state-sanctioned land grabs hugely affected the lifestyles of both pastoralists and farmers leading to armed violence in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Tolerance and coexistence are more important than anything else, and the communities had understood this for long time. It is when external factors, in the form of state intervention, border problems, and availability of arms, come into play that conflicts turn violent. That is why the role of a fully committed, good government is absolutely critical in managing land issues, border problems, and smuggling of firearms.