n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - The sociology of insecurity : cattle rustling and banditry in North-Western Kenya

Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


The study analyses new forms of banditry and cattle rustling in north-western Kenya. These phenomena involve both inter and intra- ethnic as well as cross border raids for livestock. The practice is causing great havoc in the area in terms of loss of human lives, destruction of property, stealing of livestock and dislocation of populations. The new forms of violence seem to be the result of multiple cracks in the administrative structures of the state and social norms. The government of Kenya seems to have lost effective control over north-western Kenya, especially with regard to bandits and cattle rustlers, who have become more militarised and destructive in their operations. The study posits that the roots of these new forms of violence and insecurity can be found in social, cultural, economic, political and historical factors. The study seeks to establish that banditry and cattle rustling are serious threats to internal security, rule of law and democratic governance, which are so vital for political pluralism in Kenya.

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