Evaluating contribution of informal peace agreement to community conflict management among Borana and Gabra commuinities in Marsabit
Adan, Halma Mohammed
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Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are providing solutions to the serious inter-ethnic group conflicts and quarrels that often remain a threat to national security in countries where communities are armed with illegal weapons. Arguably, the conflicts that occur between ethnic communities living in ungoverned areas, which have become deeply protracted, especially when the state is weak and compounded by harsh environmental conditions, inherently put human security significantly under threat. The study sought to evaluate the contribution of informal peace agreements on community conflict management among Borana and Gabra communities in Marsabit County, Kenya. The study was informed by three contending theories on conflict resolution and management namely; the power politics, problem-solving theories and conflict transformation theory. This study utilized descriptive survey research design. The target population for this research included all clan and community elders, chiefs and Assistants chiefs, women leaders, youth representatives, police officers, local politicians, NGOs staff and key informants totalling to 152 respondents. The sample size of the study was 110 respondents. In this study data was collected through questionnaires and key informant interviews/discussions. The study utilized both qualitative and quantitative technique in coding and analysing data. Quantitative data was analysed through inferential statistics while qualitative data was analysed through content and thematic analysis. The findings of the study were to the effect that Informal peace agreements considerably contribute to community conflict management. These agreements noticeably have positive effects on conflict management in communities and are effective in mitigating or eliminating conflicts in societies. It is however important to mention that the right mechanisms must be put in place for the agreements to have desired outcomes. Additionally potential challenges to these accords should be rightly anticipated and addressed. Those challenges that arise over the implementation phase should also be identified and effectively addressed in order to better manage conflicts and promote peaceful coexistence among communities that have been in conflicts with each other. This therefore makes the following recommendations; there is need to make informal peace agreements more inclusive, women and youth should have part to play in the informal peace agreement without diluting the indigenous system after all, and collaboration between the communities in conflicts and security agents should be encouraged since it enhances the proactive conflict resolutions where intelligence sharing is promoted leading to surrender of illegal guns in the possession of community members since they do more harm than good with their presence in the communities.
Africa Nazarene University