Protracted Conflict in Mt. Elgon Region (1963 - 2008): Towards A Multi-Causal Analysis.

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Wafula, Caleb Maikuma
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Kenyatta University
This study set out to examine the protracted nature of the Mt. Elgon conflict and the motivations driving it. The thesis of the study was that a multi-causal analysis of protracted conflicts provides a basis for a more comprehensive approach to conflict management and conflict transformation. The main objective of the study was to find out what has fueled and sustained the conflict in Mt. Elgon region. This is because the Mt. Elgon conflict has proven difficult to bring to an end. The choice of the study location was motivated by a number of factors such as the area being prone to political instability and violence resulting from complex and rapidly changing social economic dynamics. In addition, there is paucity of literature on the protracted nature of the conflict in Mt. Elgon region and on the motivations driving it. Methodologically, the study adopted a qualitative design, drawing from both primary and secondary sources in my discussion. This study used Edward Azar’s theory of Protracted Social Conflict (PSC) and conflict trap theory by Paul Collier, V.L. Elliott, Harvard Hegre, Ankle Hoeffler, Marta Reynal-Querol and Nicholas Sambanis (2003) as its analytical tools. These theories were purposely selected to explain and enhance the understanding of each of the variables affecting the research questions. The study examined Kenya’s historical and political development and established that the conflict in Mt. Elgon region has partly been contributed by the different regimes in independent Kenya. Consequently, the study found out that Mt. Elgon conflict is motivated by a number of factors among them land distribution, marginalization, shortchanging of the people of Mt. Elgon among other factors. The research recommends that there is need for full implementation of the devolution agenda, developing national consciousness, working on practical and reforms and lastly, need for justice and reconciliation in Mt. Elgon.
A thesis Submitted to the Department of History and Political Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies at Kenyatta University, June,2019