EMERGING CONFLICTS AND QUEST FOR SUSTAINABLE PEACE BUILDING IN WEST GUJI ZONE OF SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA
- Background of the Study
Sustainable peace is one of the reserved phenomena of human beings who aspire to attain personal as well as social well-being. John Galtung (1970) epitomized the configuration of peace building structures in order to endorse sustainable peace by tackling the root causes of violent conflict via holding up capacities of the indigenous conflict resolution mechanism. According to Maiese (2003), peace building is a process that assists the creation of sustainable peace so as to avert emerging of conflicts through addressing the fundamental causes as well as effects of disagreements. Absence of physical and structural violence, elimination of discrimination, and self-sustainability are the illustration of sustainable peace. Peace building process and conflict resolution mechanisms are the essential tools for fostering sustainable peace and prevent the reoccurrence of conflicts.
The post-Cold War world related with high levels of violence and instability by changing the nature of conflicts, with the majority of intra-state conflicts or civil wars. Ethnic conflicts, ethnic cleansing, and genocide have scarred many countries, especially Africa’s. The Horn of Africa (HOA) takes the major share of the violent conflicts in Africa. Ethiopia is one of the biggest countries of HOA that have multi diverse ethnic groups. This heterogeneity vulnerable the state to intra/inter ethnic conflicts. The degree, extent, causes and actors of these ethnic conflicts are changing from time to time. Over centralization, marginalization, deliberate elites exploitation, competitions for scarce resources, state building policies of the Ethiopian Empires and the current state policy on ethnicity have been an engine factors for emerging conflicts in Ethiopia (Asebe, 2007; Gololcha, 2015).
Oromia is the largest ethnic group of region 4 in Ethiopia that account for 25, 489,024, which is more than 36% of the total population of Ethiopia (CSA 2007). “Afaan Oromo” (Oromo language) is the common language among Oromo communities. Guji is one of the zones of the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. It is bordered on the south by Borena, on the west by the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region, on the north by the Ganale Dorya River which separates it from Bale and on the east by the Somali Region. They are known by their agro-pastoral life style. According to a population projection from 2007, the total population of the Guji Oromo is above five million. The Gujii have lived in their territory for many centuries. They claim that their cradle land is Girja.They reside and lead their lives in the central Southern part of Ethiopia. The significant number of Guji also lives in South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Region of Ethiopia. The Guji live in a fertile and natural resource-rich region in Ethiopia: the Guji Zone in the Oromia Region, which is named for them. The known gold mining area of Adola (or Kebri Mangest), the dense natural forest of Bada Magada (West Guji), the Nechisar National Park and Shakiso-Adola evergreen forests are the natural areas which have been conserved by the Guji Oromo.
Oromia Regional State Government formed the new West Guji zone in 2016 and the zone was made of districts and kebeles detached from Guji and Borana zones. There are nine districts and two zone municipalities- Karcha and Bule hora. The districts are Dugda dawa, Malka Soda, Bule hora, Galana, Abaya, Hambala wamana, Karcha, Birbisa kojuwa and Soro. Then the Borana also get five woredas during separationwith West Guji. The main capital is in Bule Hora town (formerly called Hagere Mariam) which is located on 467 kilometer on the road from Addis Ababa to Moyale. Geographically, the zone is demarcated, in North by Gedeo zone, in east by Guji zone, in south by Borana zone and in West by Sagan people’s special zone (Burji) in Southern Nations, Nationalities and peoples Regional States (SNNPRS). According to estimation made by West Guji zonal administration office upon its inaugural ceremony in 2016, the total population of the zone is more than 1.4 million. The dominant inhabitants of the zone are the Guji Oromo but small number of Gedeo, Burji, Konso, Gabra and others live in some towns in the new zone.
With regard to the climate condition of the zone, half part of the zone is desert area where shortage of rain and water claim large number of animals and the remaining parts of the zone are semi-arid and high land. Generally, the most of the zone is very conducive for living and the number of population increase from time to time. The economic practices of this zone is mixed with mainly animal breeding in large scale particularly in pastoral areas of the zone and mixed farming where people bread domestic animals on small farmland. The zone is also known by coffee production as large amount of coffee exported from northern part districts such as Qarca, Hambala Wamana, Bule Hora, etc (WGZIB). The zone is also endows with a variety of natural resources such as fertile soil, natural forest, minerals, tourist sites, etc. More importantly, the location of the municipal city on the main road to the capital of the country and its proximity to the boarder as well as the availability of cash crops and other exportable goods in the area made the zone very active in economic practices.
The Guji Oromo are the dominant ethnic group in its neighbors. They have incidents of both peaceful as well as conflicting relationships with them (Daba, 2013). As said by Asebe (2007), the Guji have had a long history of warfare with most of its neighboring groups. They are still depicting as a strong warrior group that keep them as feared in the region. Lack of peace and security was one of the many challenges in this zone. Allied with Odhiambo (2015), conflicts in this area had been on-and-off. Even where there are no direct clashes between communities, there was periodic killings that force households to migrate by creating insecurity in the area (Dejene, 2007; ELSE, 2008). Yet, there are emerging conflicts in West Guji, within zone as well as with neighbors. The emerging conflicts in the quest for new second Guji zone within the community as well potential conflicts with neighboring ethnic group are the manifestations. The persistent conflict of West Guji with Burji is one of the recurrent conflicts in the area. Besides, the bloody intra-ethnic conflict of 2006 with Borana Oromo was the impacts of quest for new separated independent zone from Borana zone. Subsequently, there are also emerging conflicts with related to mining resources are the sensitive potential violence of the new zone.
Since conflict could not be utterly evaded, every society forms its own mechanism to manage conflict and to halt its existence into danger. On the way to handle their divergences, Africans have devised indigenous institutions. Ethiopians like their counter parts in Africa have also employed indigenous conflict management institutions. Among the different ethnic groups in Ethiopia, for instance, the Oromo people, who are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa, have used different mechanisms to manage conflicts among themselves and with others (Teshome, 2016).
Under this umbrella, Guji Oromo have used different indigenous approaches to deal with intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic conflicts with its neighboring ethnic groups (Gololcha, 2015). Guji like Borana and other Oromo groups have Gadaa system. Both groups prescribe to common Gadaa System. As put down by Gololcha (2015), they carry out the Gadaa System and Qalu institutions with trivial variations in its composition and performance. Gada is a kind of system in which socio-political, military and spiritual life of Guji are managed. Aba Gada- is the head of this system. However, it is declining due to several factors in 21thcentury. The decline of gadaa in Guji as stated by Hinnant (1977), the political and legal leadership has been supplanted by local level of Ethiopian administration and the national courts. Population movement in Guji has resulted in each gosa containing many people from the other clans. The complex set of factors, which prevent the rank change ceremonies from occurring on time, has greatly accelerated the “running don” of the gadaa system due to the wide range of age of men in each rank. The problem has been exacerbated by the abandonment of rules restricting procreation.
Custom is vital in exacerbating conflicts between neighboring peoples through different mechanisms. There is gondoro institution designed to restore peace whenever hostilities went out of hand and threatened to harm the interest of both sides in conflict. The gondoro is an elaborate ritual that is conduct in border areas of elders and respected individuals from the communities of both sides. Animal sacrificed and honey mead called booka, was served along with the meat. The ritual concluded by renouncing an act of future violence and cursing those who violated the gondoro oath. Indeed, this institution seems to have been an effective mechanism of conflict resolution in southern Ethiopia that had called back when all administrative and political options failed to restore peace between the Guji and the Gedeo following the 1998 bloody conflict between the two peoples (Berhanu, 2012). The decline of indigenous resolution mechanisms is the key for the failures of building sustainable peace in the zone.
Therefore, this study appraised the condition of the indigenous conflict resolution mechanism in correlation with modern conflict resolution mechanism to build sustainable peace. As well, it gives exclusive attention to sustainable peace building process in the study area via describing emerging potential as well as actual violence and conflicts. This enables to forward possible solutions from the findings. The study conducted in West Guji zone and its neighboring ethnic groups (Borana and Burji). The material in this study was depends on the fieldwork carried out among the groups apart from secondary sources. This fieldwork was takes place in West Guji (Bule Hora, Garba and Dugda Dawa), Borana (Yabelo, Arero, Alona and Dubluq) and special districts of Burji (Soyama).
- Statement of the problem
In southern Ethiopia, numerous conflicts crop up these days along the Regional State border. Before 1991, the boundaries were drown beside the natural partition such as big river, bridges and mountains. After EPRDF seized power, they quickly introduced the ethnic based federal system in 1994 and changed their regional boundaries (Soga, 2009). Fights about identity are being waged in order to establish the borders of districts and zones (Abbink, 2006). West Guji Oromo is one of the new zone in Southern Ethiopia. The main bordering ethnic groups are Borana, Gedeo, Burji, Konso, Garre, Koyra, and Guji zone. Except with the Gedeo, they had long history of warfare with most of these neighbouring groups (Taddesse, 1994). The basic causes of the conflict include the memory of historical conflict (caused by various historical events), revenge, economic (resource competition), identity questions, the divide and rule policies of successive Ethiopian regimes (Weyesa, 2011).
Along with Asebe (2007), after 1990s, the conflict began to change in terms of its causes, nature, actors and dynamics. The existing policy of ethnic based federalism, over politicizing ethnic differences (elite mobilization) and drawing ethnic boundaries become the engine factors of the violence in the area. For instance, ‘the 1990s violent conflict between the Gedeo and the Guji become driven by elites (from both groups) in heightening nominal cultural differences. The issue of self-government raised by the Guji, after a while move up to the south Gedeo were the initial foundation of the conflicts, but from its commencement this scheme fabricated and systematized by the political elites (chapter 7: 274). In similar vein, Weyesa (2011) revealed similar engagement of elites in Borana conflict with Guji in 2006. The elites organized the Borana community by agitating them as they are losing their land to the Guji. In this view, the then officials of the zone are said to have equipped the Borana to shield themselves from the alleged attack of the Guji. It is the result of this elite mobilization in 2006 violent conflict took place in Surpha kebele of Borana. The same is parallel with Guji-Burji conflicts of 2008 because of resource competition over land. The conflict aggravated by elite exploitation of the existing past hostility among the groups.
Every community adopts various mechanisms of upholding societal regulations either through formal or informal method of enforcing these rules (chapter 4: 123). The communities of Guji have a cultural values and traditional administration of the Gada system, exercise Qallu institutions and Gondoro rituals ceremony that ties them with their neighboring like Borana and Burji. However, these traditional conflict resolution mechanisms are weakening due to different pressures such as denial of recognition of traditional leadership, modern state administration, customary laws and modern conflict resolution mechanisms, i.e. Woreda and Zonal administrators have little knowledge and respect for the already existing traditional mechanism and leaders. Hence, the researcher notices, as there is a problem of strengthening hybrid approach of exercise in intermixing modern conflict resolution mechanism together with the indigenous conflict resolution mechanism to build sustainable peace in the zone.
Since West Guji is a new zone, there is no exclusive study in this area. Many works in Guji areas overlook or give little attention for emerging conflicts of this zone. Conflicts within Guji in terms of resource utilizations and profit maximizations are the recurrent violence in the area. In this regard, different turmoil related with mining resources takes more than two decades in Guji zone, however did not get adequate attention of researcher. On the top, most researchers (Abebaw, 1986; Andualem, 2010; Asebe, 2007; Gololcha, 2015; Taddesse, 1994; Woyisa, 2011 & etc) focused on conflicts of Gujji with their neighbors such as Borana, Arsi, Sidama and Gedeo. In addition to disregarding internal issues, there is no much work in Guji conflicts with adjacent minority ethnic groups of SNNPRS such as Burji, Koyra, Konso and Amaro. While Asebe & et al (2010) & Asebe (2012) assess the conflict of the two groups in 2008, it does not explicate the current potential conflicts.
There is also deficit in the study of Burji. The existing ones are entirely center on the history, culture and language of Burji. There is scared in connection with harmonious as well as conflictual relations of the people with their neighboring ethnic groups. Some thesis in Burji roughly mention in one sentences as Guji is its solely enemy (Ayele, 1988; Borenton, 1997; Yilma, 2013). Their fore this study focus on emerging conflicts of West Guji zone by glancing the internal turmoil in West Guji zone and its impacts for neighboring animosity with the same ancestor of Oromo group of Borana. In addition, it assesses the emerging potential conflicts of inter-ethnic conflicts with its neighbor of Burji. Therefore, the researcher would like to fill the gap by concentrating on sustainable peace building in West Guji zone by assessing both conflict resolution mechanisms, modern as well as the indigenous. It reviews both internal and external issue of West Guji zone.
- Objectives of the study
The study has both general as well as specific objectives
- General objective
The general objective of this study is to scrutinize and analyze the emerging conflicts and the quest for sustainable peace building in West Guji zone.
In line with the general objective, the following are the specific objectives:
To analyses the causes and consequences of newly separated zone of West Guji from Borana zone
To reveal internal turmoil in West Guji zone
To investigate the fundamental and the trigger causes of inter-ethnic conflict between West Guji and Burji
To find out the correlation and effectiveness of both institutionally and normatively established conflict resolution mechanisms to build sustainable peace in West Guji zone
To identify the role of religion in building sustainable peace in West Guji zone by exploring experiences carries out Between West Guji and Burji conflict resolution
To find out opportunities and challenges towards building sustainable peace within zone and with neighboring group
To forward alternative solutions for culminating emerging conflicts and to build sustainable peace in West Guji zone
The aforementioned objectives of the study lead to the formation of the following research questions:
- What is the rational reason behind the emerging of conflicts in West Guji zone and its inter-ethnic clash with Burji?
- Is there impact and potential conflict with Borana due to quest of new zone of West Guji?
- How can effectively work together traditional and modern conflict resolution mechanisms to sustain peace?
- Does religion play a pivotal role in building sustainable peace in West Guji zone?
- How can avert the recurrence of conflicts and build sustainable peace in the zone?
- What are the possible solutions to build sustainable peace?
- Significance of the study
There is no extensive research has been written on sustainable peace building process in West Guji zone. Most of researches focus on resolving the existing conflict by connecting with conflict resolution mechanism rather than assessing on sustaining peace. Thus, this study provides a general insight into the historic and current relations of West Guji Oromo with its neighboring ethnic groups. It assess the potential emerging of conflicts in the zone. Moreover, the study concentrates on the recent violence around that area and effort to resolve the conflict from its roots that enables to build sustainable peace in the region. Besides, it intends to reveal the complementary roles of the traditional mechanism as well as legal mechanism to resolve the conflict and thereby bringing about long lasting peace, co-existence and stability in the region. It reveals the role of religion in sustaining peace and harmonizing conflicts. As well, it endows with information for local stakeholders, national administrator and legislators to recognize the causes of the conflict. As well as, supportive for policy-making bodies in facilitating an opportunity to be aware of the actual problems and take appropriate interventions. It helps for regional office of Oromia as well as zonal administration of West Guji to understand profoundly the existing situation of their area and to take possible action. In addition, it gives insight about the violence related with mining resource in Guji. Therefore, this study facilitate as a reference to all interested bodies by opening the way for other researchers for their further studies on the issue.
- Scope of the study
As to the scope of the study, this work gives insight with regard to the conflict resolution, prevention and reformation mechanisms to with socio economic and cultural values and principles and administrative structures and inter-personal and inter-group interaction with a sharp focus on intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic relations. Therefore, it tries to examine the amalgamation of traditional and legal conflict resolution mechanism of Guji zone in sustainable peace building process. Furthermore, it elucidates the role of religion in prevention of conflicts and harmonization of diverse groups of West Guji. To accomplish this, the scope of the study limited to the geographical setting of the southern parts of Ethiopia, particularly on West Guji, Borana zone and Soyama special districts.
- Limitations of the Study
The study area has broadened and sophisticated emerging conflicts and violence with most of its neighboring ethnic groups that the researcher cannot address all of them because of financial and time limitations. Although, there are several internal upheavals in West Guji zone the researcher obliged to choose some of it due to its nature of broadness. There was a challenges of environmental inhospitably, hot climatic conditions, transportations and political constraints as a limitations. For the fieldwork, the researcher went directly to the capital city of West Guji, Bule Hora, which is 467 kilometer from Addis Ababa. The deconstruction of roads from Addis Ababa to Moyale for rebuilding of Kenya-Ethiopia international road made the journey worse and terrible. During an interview around the Borana area, the elders were very much suspicious and were not willing to provide detail information. There is no asphalt road from Yabelo to Arero. Moreover, the Abba gadaas there was very much reluctant to give information and order me to get him in Alona market for the second day that I went by motorcycle. Some told me as they preclude by government officials not to confer information related with politics. It is difficult to get their consent for interview. Connecting with the Burji fieldwork, the challenges was from cabines of the special districts of Soyama. The elders are very much open and volunteer to give all kind of information that the researcher asks. However, those government officials were not in a position to welcome any kind of researcher, predominantly their cultural office. Even it was very much difficult to access any books, magazines, or documents about Burji. Since Burji are the least studied group, which worsened by political elites by frustrating researchers. They were very much aggressive and unwilling to provide information about their interaction with their neighboring ethnic group of Guji. The researcher had time limitations as well due to geographical distances from one field site to another that also lead to financial shortage to access all of the area.
- Research Methodology
For the purpose of this study, the researcher used the qualitative method of research. The approach is preferred due to its holistic nature in analyzing the whole system of beliefs rather than simply in its individual components. Qualitative methodology is interested in research from its meaning, notably, how people make sense out of their lives experiences. Furthermore, the researcher is central in the method. He/she is the primary instrument of data collection and analysis. Unlike the quantitative methodology where data are collected through inventories, questionnaires or machine, in qualitative research data are mediated through the researcher or the ‘human instrument.’ The interest of the researcher lies in the process, meaning as well as in the insight to gained through words or illustrations. As Creswell (1994) stated it, by choosing a qualitative methodology, the researcher tend to plays a pivotal role in constructing concepts, theories, and principles out of details of discussions, interviews and observations. Hence, the researcher will use qualitative method by investigating the data through interviews and focus group discussions that enable to understand the attitude of the people and analyzed it by crosschecking with one another. Moreover, most of research parts concentrate on the past conflicting issues that result for current violence. In addition, it outlines resolutions mechanisms made so far and assesses it effects on the current condition of the zone. Additionally the issues are not quantifiable through the samples rather it focus on existing reality and feelings of the community.
1.9. Method of the Study
In this study, the researcher used both primary and secondary sources of data.
1.9.1. Sampling Techniques and Procedures
The selection of key informants was from Guji, Borana, Burji and ethnic groups and religious leaders based on purposive and snowballing sampling techniques. With this regard, the community elders, religious leaders and the government officials who have been participated in resolving conflicts and concerning body.
- Data Collecting Instruments
Key Informants Interview: – The researcher conducted in-depth-interview in order to collect reliable data from active participants of sustainable peace building process. These key informants were elders from three of the ethnic groups that were involved in negotiating the disputes that occurred in different period of the conflict. Besides the elders, the researcher interviewed the administrative officials from two of zones and one of special woredas that are more concerned with the issue, especially the security officials, administrators and high officials. The researcher also interviewed intellectuals and writers of the area. There was also interview with religious leaders. Lastly, the researcher interviewed the individuals who were involved in the conflicts as well as those who affected directly or indirectly. This enables the researcher to get sufficient information in order to crosscheck the data.
The interview was made with 45 informants from elders, young, religious leaders and intellectuals. The fieldwork made from West Guji zone of Bule Hora woreda and Garba kebele. There was also phone intervie with Malka Soda woreda administrators about Okote mining area under their district. From Borana zone, to Yabelo, Dubluk and Arero woreda and Alona kebele. Finally from Burji of Soyama special woreda. The religious leaders were from Bule Hora town.
Focus Group Discussion: – in order to get the attitude of the ordinary local people towards the effectiveness of sustainable peace building process through conflict resolution mechanisms, four focus group discussions was conducted by organizing four to six selected individuals from. The FDG performed with Guji in Dugda Dawa woreda, Burji of Soyama special districts, Borana in Alona market and with religious leaders of CINODOS in Bule Hora. This instrument enabled the researcher to get same information from different people in the same time and place.
Observation: -there was also fieldwork research observation. The research can observe variety of mixed things on the trip to different areas of ethnic groups. It can observe and suggest the attitude and intention of groups to one another. It also gives deep insight of informant sentiments.
- The Data
The researcher collected the data by investigating both primary and secondary sources. The main primary sources were the people who live around the study area and the officials actively involved in conflict resolution mechanism and sustainable peace building process of the region. The documents also used as important primary sources.
The researcher used secondary sources of data from books, documents, reports and articles from internet, newspapers, magazines, journals, videos and audiovisuals, published and unpublished thesis that will help to develop review the areas.
- Ethical Considerations
In collecting information, the researcher adhered to every ethical consideration. In gathering of primary data, the researcher approached the research participants first by requesting their willingness to participate in the research. Then, the researcher introduced her name and where she from and assured the informants that the objective of the research is only for academic purpose and the researcher would pledge for the protection of their identities and the guarantee of their safety that doesn’t matter what information be given in the course of the research. Moreover, the researcher showed the value and appreciation for knowledge of the locals by inviting research assistants from the targeted population. The researcher considers and respects the right of the research participants. The rights of the privacy of all the participants in Focused Group Discussions and key informants would be respected. Their names would not mention in the research without their consent, in its place the researcher used collective names such as “discussants”, “one of the informants” and “informants” used in the finalization of the thesis.
- Structure of the Thesis
The thesis arranged into six chapters. The first chapter sets an introductory part of the paper in which background to the research is briefly described and the problem to be researched is identified. Moreover, the objectives, significance, scope, methods and methodology, ethical considerations as well as expected limitations that the study may encounter are highlights of this chapter. The second chapter discussed the conceptual and theoretical foundations upon which the research conducts. The definition of sustainable peace, conflict and conflict resolution as well as some selected theories on conflict and conflict resolution and sustainable peace building entertained in this chapter. The third chapter is data analysis that goes over the historical background of the emerging ethnic conflicts and conflict resolution mechanisms to build sustainable peace. The fourth chapter is findings that tell about the emerging of conflicts and quest for sustainable peace building. The fifth chapter is conclusion and recommendation.
Conceptual and Theories related to Conflict and Sustainable Peace Building
2.1. Concepts and Theories related to Conflict
Conflicts are an inevitable phenomenon of human interactions, notably if they are reliant to one another. Conflict describe by different scholars in multiple ways. Folarin (2013), on his article of types and causes of conflict portray conflicts as. An outer shell of tensions and incompatibility of diverse goals, needs, demands, interests and values of two or more persons or groups that leads to arguments, disagreements, disputes, debates as well as active exertions to forestall from realizing their desire of status, values, power or resource. For Williams (2015), It is a tendency of aspiring to attain two or more parallels of similar goals that remain irreconcilable and pursues to put into action through harming, neutralizing or get rid of contenders. Furthermore, it expressed through disapprobation, all forms of intolerance, anxious situation, emotional tension, hostile relation, collision, resistance, clear aggression and open violence. Niklas & et al (2005) on their concept paper of conflict, conflict prevention and conflict management and beyond, illustrate: Conflict can be the perception of threat, or actual incidence, which comes due to opposing interests of a scarce resource, goal divergence, frustration, tensions, misunderstandings, eco-political interests and historical animosity.
Conflict arises when the incompatible goal of two or more parties mounted to hostile attitudes that lead them to take harsh action while the respective group might not aware of this incompatible that comes by self-hallucination, lack of rationalization, deficient of knowledge or concealed facts which USAID (1996) called uriacknowledged conflict. Unacknowledged diverse incompatible interests are lie down over economic (allocations of natural resources, energy sources, water, grazing and plough land, food), over identity (the issue of dignity and look after traditions), over political (political system and participations on decision-making, power relation), over socio-cultural (values, the issue of systems of government, ethnic, ideological conception and religion) and over territorial (boundary).
The causes of conflicts are dynamic over different period. It reshaped and changed by global political circumstances and level of civilizations. Post-cold world war modifies experience of conflict types and issues in new world system. Besides to the persistent causes of conflicts (economical, political, environmental and social factors) joblessness, inequalities, scarce resource, injustice, human right abuse, corruption, maladministration and political exclusion are the bold incidents.Accordingly, these resulted for Ethiopians, allied with UNDP-Ethiopia (2015), some of the causes of conflicts are competition for scarce resources like pasture, land, and water; antagonistic amongst pastoralists and agriculturalist; finely tuned consciousness of ethnic identity; political manners include bring under control of enfranchisement perception, and quarrel over border demarcation amid ethnicities and regions. On top, Federalism shifts the dynamics of ethnic conflicts by heightened and transformed historical territorial conflicts into inter-regional border struggles that imitate the alteration of pastoralist resource struggle to inter-regional boundary arguments.
2.1.1 Theories of Conflict
Theories of conflicts are the justifications for the copious and complex causes of the conflict.
Structural Theory of conflict: perceive conflicts as the fabrication of tension that crop up in competition for scarce resource depending on the context of specifically structured community. This theory reveals those conditions that hoisted violence such as economic exploitation, deprivation, injustice, gender imbalances, social exclusion, racial segregation, class inequalities, political marginalization and the likes. This demonstrates the turmoil of Okote areas in mining resources of West Guji Oromo of southern Ethiopia, which results from economic exploitation and deprivation. The tension was in competition for scarce resources with the indigenous residents which crop up violence with government and people in order to carry on their traditional economic sources of extracting mining and preserving the resources for generation. The Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung proposes, the fundamental causes of conflict, namely, the structural conditions such as the unequal distribution of resources, discrimination and power imbalances must be resolved in order for true peace to come about.
Structural theory emphasizes the incidences of conflict due to the exploitative and unjust nature of human societies or because of domination of one class by another. This demonstrates the perception of Guji as dominated and exploited by Borana. Nevertheless, this theory has shortcoming on its on-sidedness of appraising causes of conflict. It, for instance, does not see the bright sides of racial or ethnic diversity and the strength that a society may derive from pluralism. It only sees the flaws. The structural theory thus makes sense only when conflicts viewed from the broadest possible perspective, and only if the observer opts to ignore alternate causes of the conflict.
Niklas & et al (2005:18) spots three interconnected structural conflicts: attitudes, behavior and situations that mingle and fabricate conflicts between groups.
1. The situation impact the behavior (failure to reach targeted goals, especially important goals, creates frustration and increases the willingness to reach these goals).
2. The situation impact attitudes (incompatible goals increase the suspicion and distrust between the actors).
3. Behavior impact the situation (success can introduce new questions in the conflict as demands increases).
4. Behavior impact the attitudes (destruction increases hatred, success can impact the group solidarity and the notion of “us”).
5. Attitudes impact the behavior (expectations such as “our traditional enemies will attack again” will impact the defensive planning and preventive actions).
6. Attitudes impact the situation (the longer the conflict continues the more questions will be introduced)
Economic Theory of conflict: elucidates the economic connotations as causes of conflict. There is substantial links between scarcity and politics (power, resources or value). Humans crave power as a means to an end, above all for economic ends that lead to contention for scarce resource control related with mismanagement of scarce resource and deprivation. Individuals grudge over water resource, grazing fields, farmlands, and groups brawl with government over distribution of resources or revenue. This directly illustrates Borana-Guji violence, which political elites used resource of Guji as their means to obtain power. Moreover, the competition over kaloo of preserved grazing grass for drought among pastoralist groups. Besides, it reveals Guji-Burji conflicts over competition over scarce resources of water and land. Burji need to expand their farming land to exterior of Guji as a means of ends of the objective of diversifying their lands.
Frustration-anger-aggression Theory of conflict: justifies conflict in psychological perspectives via conceiving humans as naturally counteract for repulsive action. The theory articulates that aggression is the product of frustrating of individuals to get hold of their goal. Frustration is portray as the reaction of people while something obstructs or denied their aspiration hence aggression is upshot of frustration. Anger is the reflection of frustration through sentiments of irritation whereas aggression is like flare-up of rage. Ever since anticipation of people fails to get in touch with their target, there is a propensity of confronting others whose they deduce as liable for the frustration of their objectives or on anyone that can pull out their frustration. Thus if they unable to convey their aggression towards actual font of frustration, dislodge skirmishes would be besiege to surrogate objects, that is, aggression altered to substitute entities (Folarin, 2013).This elucidates the case of Shakiso of Guji community incapable to attain from their resources of mining gold produce frustration from denying get hold of local resources which generate anger on the adverse affects of expense through environmental and water pollution resulted in aggression of burning factory on the ‘Okote’ mining of West Guji zone. In addition, the denial of getting their own independent zone by separating from Borana was frustration for hostile aggression of the two groups. Besides, the anger by Burji expansion of cultivation towards Guji land aggressed for recurrent of conflicts.
22.214.171.124. Stages of conflicts- a Life Cycle Approach
Conflict is a process which upward to different phases and levels of stages. Republic of Rwanda public service commission (2014) demonstrates some of them in their article of ‘Causes and Impacts of Conflict at Work Place’. Tensions (feeling of persecution due to inequality and lack of good governance), latent conflict (structural violence with the feeling of injustice that lead to rumbling frustration), escalation of tensions (frustrations convert to aggravation due to overlooked as well as neglected tension by government and readiness for confrontations through formation of alliances and generation of resources). Eventually, eruption of acute conflict, conflict settlement (conflict management), transition to a post-conflict situation (due to lack of adequate conflict resolution, the conflict aggravated again) that converts to stalemate (when the tension has a potential to explode at regular gap). GIZ (2001) maintain the persistence of conflicts due to lack of proper and accurate management by the government the tension evolve from initial stage to complicated stage. After the stalemate stage the violence encircle that bring escalations and eruption of conflict repeatedly which need multi-cleft approach to rescue the circumstances through taking route to cooperation and arrangement, ensuing in de-escalation of tensions and instigation of running on building sustainable peace.
126.96.36.199. Complex conflict analysis
Individuals interacts each other and form a group in order to meet their needs as well as different goals. Webel & Galtung (2007) elaborate, when these goals are incompatible during contacting to other groups then contention arises that led to violence that bring counter-violence and deteriorate the attitude and perception among themselves. Familiarity of conflict generate a shocking memory and accompanied with myths, it became transfer to descendants then those accumulated traumas bear for centuries and amassed in the culture profoundly that can stimulate during contradiction by aggravating the issue.
2.1.2. Ethnic Conflict
The name “ethnicity” is quite latest model, cited for the first time in 1953 at the English Oxford. It is utterly social incident, which twisted and replicated over time by claiming members ethnic groups to share explicit sense of solidarity, habits, values, beliefs in common descent, coalition with a particular territory, norms and custom in accordance with their distinct cultural backgrounds of geographical location, religion, kinship, race, language and historical experience. Accordingly, the differentiation of these ethnic identities infers conflict among the group along actual or potential favoritism. Furthermore, ethnic conflict elevated by cultural collision and modernization in which people fascinated for similar things that lead to economic competition between working group and/or segments of customers and activate scramble for resources.
There is a violent and nonviolent form of ethnic conflict. Tokunbo & et al (2006) mention violent ethnic conflicts are revolve in the country where the government is a tool of group ascendancy that can lock channel for cohering demands, which become spectrum from uprising to civil wars and secession. Whereas nonviolent ethnic conflicts are stressing for alteration of prejudice, overlooked, stipulate for redress through ethnic leaders, press, political parties, law courts and other civil methods of articulating demand. Ethnic conflicts hoisted among antagonistic groups when they are suspicious about the intention of one another. Dagne (2009) regarded as inflict between ethnic majorities and minorities since actors enrolled in the conflict deter the contentment of their basic human needs. Minorities presume as their identity concealed, modest development opportunity and even sometimes to extent of their subsistence are doubtful whereas majorities look them as contends of their security.
188.8.131.52. Causes of Ethnic Conflict
Nevertheless, there is no exclusive explanation for ethnic violence, three of them are the foremost interplay factors such as, economical, political and historical and cultural as Dagne (2009) enlightenment.
Political factors: Political activity is a chief incident for agitating ethnic conflict particularly in Africa, on contending and kicking for political power predominantly for the state whose institutions, policies and allocations of resources are pedestal on ethnicity. Ever since prejudiced governmental strategies aggravate ethnic violence via turning out political omission when power possessor benevolent for their own ethnic group in expense of others.
Economic factor: Scarcity of resources could not be entire factor for the rise of ethnic quarrel unless coalesce with economic insecurity and exploitation in resource provision thus endeavors to attain at the cost of indigenous residents.
Cultural and Historical factors: Conflict inflict with culture is the appeal of cultural autonomy where beliefs, tradition, language, values, resources and cultures dominated by others with political repression. Henceforth, historical animosity prompts current connection to ruthless incident apart take measurement instantaneously that can alter pessimistic outlook to stabilize their interaction.
184.108.40.206. Theories of Ethnic Conflict
Ethnic conflict is extremely contested phenomenon that has been part of international politics throughout history and is still a widespread form of contemporary armed conflict around the world. Ethnicity by itself is not a cause of conflict rather according to Hendrick (2009), violence related with an ethnic elements, the dynamics and character of ethnic identity in correlation with other identities lead to ethnic conflict. Nonetheless, there are multiple causes of ethnic conflicts. Three of them are the major theories of ethnic conflicts namely primordialism, instrumentalism and constructivism.
Primordialists: argues that ethnic identity is ascriptive of membership which has an objective entity of singular, everlasting and permanent link that assigned since birth time with distinctive social boundaries thus difficult to change and carried over generation. Accordingly, Dagne, (2009) elaborate, they perceive ethnic divergences as inherits, irreconcilable and conflicts among ethnic groups are natural and inevitable archaic revulsion owing to intrinsic straps of profound natural bond which connects people to people and create natural dissection with each other based on primitive stage of kinship, blood, custom, race, language, religion, location and the like.
If the ethnic groups are supposes as ascriptive, tightly encircled body based on a strong feeling of commonality, generate extensive allegiance, cleaving over time, granting great sentimental prizes to group affiliates, believe on ethnocentrism, aspired to dominate other groups, prone to conflict conduct based on emotion, and willing to sacrifice for group wellbeing then they are primordialist ethnic conflict. (Tokunbo & et al, 2006).
Some scholars criticized in its accentuate on the ridiculousness of ethnic conflict and bend over scheme of hereditarily stimulated heathen conduct via disregarding the political, structural and economic processes within which these conflicts explode that venture the depiction of desperation and perceiving ethnic conflicts as eternal and ineffaceable in heterogeneous society. This is not realistic in the conflict between Guji Oromo-Borana Oromo conflicts, which is from the same ethnic groups of Oromo, whereas Guji Oromo-Burji conflicts of different ethnic groups in Ethiopia. This entails that there is no single factor for the appearance of conflict between ethnic groups. Primordialist also lack description for the triggering underlying of the eruption of hostility.
Instrumentalism: Unlike primordialists, instrumentalist theory does not witness ethnicity as intrinsic in human nature or inherently valuable rather consider ethnic groups as socially constructed by few folks of elites, which can be flexible, fluid and transferable ethnic identity through social adoption that premeditated foundation of coalition for manipulation in ethnic coverage. Thus exploited as a means to end their political power, economic benefits, and social status or other ends on the cluster of kinship, culture, language and religion depending on profit it provide to elites that have stronger greedy than grievance which become a powerful ground for eruption of ethnic violence. Ethnic conflict is hence the outcome of elite manipulation endeavor of extensive interest through making cost benefit analysis and then if the cost of partnership surpassed the calculated gains, ethnic conflicts leans to inescapable (Dagne, 2009).
If the ethnic boundaries are pliable, their commonality is based on the material prizes they offered for their members rather than on disperse affection, their conduct is based on the desire of their member, they exposed to deliberate manipulation, and results for harsh conflicts without strategic dilemmas then it is instrumentalist ethnic conflict (Tokunbo & et al, 2006).
Consequently, this theory illuminate the rationale behind various ethnically divided communities either decided to clash or collaborate. Likewise, instrumentalists explicate the motive of some inhabitants to partake in ethnic conflict whilst they are not plausible personally though trail the swarm in the course of ethnic mobilization through coordination game of concoction with cooperating factions. This theory also imperfect by lacking the decisive substance that primordialist stressed such as the ground put down for effectiveness of people mobilization along ethnic lines; the successful target of elites to use ethnicity as a means for their gains while elites do not create such emotion correlate via ethnic identity rather they appeal and manipulate it. Accordingly, elite manipulations independently insufficient for infuriating ethnic violence instead individuals deem to belongingness of specific ethnic member that can help elites to grasp their consent and agitate ethnic group for conflict.
Constructivism: presume ethnic identity is historically social construction and commence within a process of economic, political and social activities, which have fluid entity that formed via various means such as subjugation, immigration, colonization and post-colonial ruling elites for political and social control formed in the sense of ‘them and us’. Dagne (2009) portray, identity manufactured on the bases of either beliefs, language, imagination, religion, free will, rituals, solidarity, collective historical memories, contextual need or coercion, fear and compulsion in which individual confer their identity and assured it more beneficial to incorporate with ethnic group than stay alone that facilitate the opportunity of manipulation for political entrepreneurs.
For constructivists identity are not natural, inevitable and permanent on genes rather internal logic of social discourses that impels identity formation and stipulation of individual identities with specific groups that distinguished by rules of membership, distinctiveness and conduct expected in certain conditions. Myths are one of the most dangerous symbols for aggravating ethnic conflict through validation of past atrocities and political dominance. Ethnic conflict, consequently, is the manufacture of concrete historical processes and these pressures in history affect relations between ethnic groups causing antagonism among them hence illuminating the politicization of ethnic identities fabricated by amalgamation of aspects, evolving over time and generate flat atmosphere for violence.
Cordell & Wolff (2010) fused Primordialist and constructivist as ethnosymbolism. This sketch ethnic group as a sort of cultural collectivists distinguishable by a myth of common ancestry, a collective proper name, a feelings of cohesion for considerable segments of the population, the association with a specific homeland and shared historical memories. It identifies one or more cultural differentiated elements of common culture. The connection between tangible (e.g., language, religion, customs and traditions) and elusive features (e.g., feeling of distinctiveness, common sense of harmony among collective members,) confirms the political allusions of ethnic identity. Thus inclined to ethnic conflict as such ethnic identity ranges between primordial historic continuities and instrumental opportunistic adaptations.
Horowitz (1998) sorts out these ethnic identities as Hard and soft peace. The former is witness ethnic attachments as made up of stone with the affective of hatred and love as well as expressiveness. These have an impression of intensely entrenched collectiveness illustrated by disseminate emotions, philanthropy and compliance with personal scarification for group members that becomes the attitudes and interests of herds entertain. While the latter witness ethnic affiliation as made up of putty with strait forward calculation of instrumental action of political entrepreneurs as their pursuit of motives that can ethnic groups trim down in to the intentions of their members and concurrence leaders determine values of particular action, rather than magnificence for the flock utilities. Ethnicity is thus subjective, flexible, and alters with interethnic interaction. Its intention is to underpin and perpetuate social discrepancy for specific goals through history, language, culture and symbols that are considerable in prompting and sustaining ethnic rivalry. The constructed ethnic identity turn out to be internalized and institutionalized through creating deep emotion as primordialist identities by insisting to share a historical experiences, beliefs, religions, valued cultural traits, languages and homelands that become persistent sense of common interest.
As Henry (2002) exemplifies Barth (1969) theory of constructivism, it is the existence of strong identified boundary that distinct with ethnic groups than mere cultural constituents. The precondition of ethnic membership modified as people move over time which offer an opportunity for successive elite manipulation as ethnic identity changed. The deficit of this theory is lack to point out the reason for societies with similar structural features and historical processes commonly, correlated with conflict, which do not generate similar conflict histories. Constructivists also do not indicate the instance for the eruption of conflict. This theory focus on the macro level processes by overlooking the grass roots level. Even if it has these shortcomings, the theory authenticates the conflicts of West Guji Oromo with their neighboring ethnic groups of Borana Oromo and Burji of southern Ethiopia via accentuate the underlying causes of historical and recent conflicts related with ethnicity.
2.1.3. Theories of Interethnic Relations
Theories of interethnic relations inevitably informed by theories of ethnicity—rational choice and socio-psychological approaches are the two prominent identification of the dynamics of ethnic conflicts through the presence of means as well as opportunity and the elements of ethnic identity that mobilizes individuals under collectives for conflict as Cordell & Wolff (2010) depicted.
Rational choice theories: presumes as individual involve in ethnic conflict by making the rational cost-benefit calculation such as for security in order to shield from the panic of an imminent violence assault by antagonist who intimidates the very subsistence of the group and its members thus choice for violence, others from individual economic benefit that have rational for violence.
Social-psychological: perspective perceived ethnic conflict as the product of discrimination and inequality among groups by which the groups consideration whether entitlement to goods and services are intimidate for prolongation or objectively denied that geared up for violence to attain or retain the status they are claiming for.
220.127.116.11. Human Needs Theory
Human natural and universal needs are initial root of arguments that inflict when demands and requests of collectives overlook, stifle and flaw to prop up divulged the nonnegotiable needs. Some of them are recognition, belongingness, choice, security, identity, love, dignity, creativity, development, participation, control, self-actuation and societal values ideas (beliefs, customs and habits). Basic needs theory as NCPCR, (2001) suppose, ethnic conflicts generated from impediments of basic needs contentment and frustration. This leads strive to attain and eliminate the threat for fulfillments of their needs under all circumstances of physical and physiological needs and free from fears and tensions for survival.It is the ethnic, linguistic, class, religious, and other attributes that lead to autonomous cultures and identity groups.
Needs are universal whereas wishes and wants are subjective. The basic human needs that are momentous for conflict resolutions according to Petrakis (2014) are the need for self-determination, association and basic resources. A needs perception crucial not only for tackling the hindrances to a negotiated motion, as well to steps forwarding the quality of the solution that realized through addressing the basic needs of all groups in more durable and satisfactory manner. Thus, construct social harmony and peaceful co-existence would be possible, which brought sustain long lasting peace.
2.2. Concepts and Theories related to Sustainable Peace Building
Peace is a complex process as different scholars writes. Berghof (2012) put down as it has long-term (make over structural contradictions, improving conflicting associations and adjust personal behaviour and attitudes) and multi-layered (strengthening peacebuilding through contextually defined vision, setting the condition for peace and utilizes ample sorts of approaches and techniques by evaluating current situation in a given society to sustain peace with all levels of stakeholders) process. For Kasali (2006), peace can engender through different mechanisms such as according to preferences of conflicting parties handling style, negotiation, peace conferences and workshops with training, which could do with transferring peace from negative to positive. Peace can be holdup in copious approaches: handling grievances, building awareness of distinctive identity, modify attitudes and perceptions of one another, constructing of political mobilizations and organizations of civil societies, reduce polarizations, transform antagonistic behaviors, minimizes issues of disagreements, reform communications and interactions of the groups, amplify pulling together leaders of each groups.
Peace can merely portray as the absence of violence in its traditional sense, which could seen as a negative peace that even during periods without war, people are still being injured and killed either physically or mentally. For Johan Galtung, violence identified through multiple ways: direct physical violence, structural violence, cultural violence, environmental violence and institutional or systematic violence as a results of unjust system like apartheid in which peace ought to be free from all this violence. The United Nations has emphasized on four key spots of peace: preventive diplomacy (resolve violence before eruption), peacemaking and peacekeeping aim to halt disputes, and peacebuilding targeted at preventing the re-emergence of violent conflicts. UN express two types of peacebuilding, namely preventive peacebuilding which is attempts /to deter arguments from mounting to violent conflicts and post-conflict peacebuilding which concerned on handling the rebuilding of physical infrastructure, civil society organizations and state systems.
The fundamental issues of conflict contains the structural conditions such as favoritism, inequality, racism, asymmetrical sharing of resources, exploitation, authority discrepancy and other barriers to equal opportunities. Those things limit peace that ought to be determined in order to bring positive peace which lead to sustainable peace. There is perplexity whether peace is a process or an end that over look peace culture and create process-structure gap. Traditionally peace guaranteed through evading war thus accomplished by power balance/deterrence rather than co-operation. Peace is a dynamic process, which need modified structure and culture in sustaining peace-building process. For Martin Luther King Jr., (1967) Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. Peace is a process, not an end, which requires active follow up and keeps working all times. “There is no path to peace. Peace is the path” as quoted by Hofsvang (2008) the speech of Mahatma Gandhi of Indian political and spiritual leader (1869-1948).
USAID (1996), make out some definitions of peace
Durable peace is lasting and positive peace that lead to sustainable peace through creating mutual awareness and pursuit of conflicting interests.
Stable Peace or cold peace is a relationship of cautious interaction and fixed alliance within a perspective of fundamental order, reciprocated esteem and nonexistence of violence.
Unstable Peace or cold war involves conspicuous anxiety and misgiving in the midst of groups that have high tension and intermittent situations of come to blows. Peace is fragile, lack of mutual accordance and actors retain armed forces.
Negative peace is a condition in absence of physical violence and war that was traditional assumption of peace.
Positive peace is a situation whereby structural and physical violence diminished. It advocate peaceful means of resolving conflict by involving each party in negotiation process thus will certainly make peace more sustainable
2.2.2. A spectral theory of peace
Webel & Galtung (2007) illustrate, as Peace is elusive which can percept through its absence or presence that appraised with two continuum or spectrum called ‘strong peace’ and ‘weak peace’. Webel fastened ‘Strong or Durable peace’, which Galtung’s ‘positive peace’. This is in a situation of equality, vigorous justice and liberty exists with quietly slight hostility. Whereas ‘Weak, or Fragile peace’ of ‘Negative peace’ of John Galtung’s, which connects the nonexistence of conflict in specific area of community or culture as well enveloping of inequality, dissatisfaction, personal discord and inequality. He merged those classified peaces under ‘External Internal peace (EIP)’ and ‘Internal External Peace (IEP) with the supposition of continuum of human behavior on its needs, personal feelings, desires and inclinations while in interfacing with others, reveal ranging of conduct from ‘Very Conflicted’ to ‘Very Unconflicted’ and cooperated.
TheTRANSCEND perception of Galtung (2000) stressed on building and strengthening the capacity of the conflicting parties through guiding and counseling. Thus, enable to discuss on their cause of violence by themselves in peaceful manner in order to transform the conflict and build sustainable peace. As well, able them to revise their objective and reach on compromised and mutual agreed destination in nonviolent approach.
The word ‘peacebuilding’ commenced by Johan Galtung in 1975 with his publication of ‘Three Approaches to Peace: Peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding’. Salient notions for building peace according to his speculations are positive and sustainable peace through addressing structural violence, cultural violence, root causes of conflict and negative peace. Galtung gives stress on the relevance of indigenous knowledge, ownership and involvement in peacebuilding process. It is a process of long-term work in order to deal from grass root level of a conflict. This needs strengthening of constituencies politically, socially, and culturally which link the groups to each other that bring peace consolidation for lasting peace.
John Paul Lederach in 1997 maintains that peacebuilding is a dynamic process and it needs transformation of conflict to sustainable peace. The OECD/DAC (2008), confide peacebuilding with appraising each level of incidents so as feasible to avert violent conflicts and advancing lasting and sustainable peace. UN Peacebuilding (2010), define peacebuilding as grips minimizing the opportunity of rising and re-emerging of violence by building the competence of conflict resolution in all level of the society and promote sustainable peace to foster development. As Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1992), cited by (Berghof, 2012) peacebuilding is a foremost apparatus for sustaining peace in post-confrontations environment. It should envelops each actions intended for fostering peace and addressing profound violence in a society as well as should respect the principles of inclusiveness, multi-partiality and partnership.
Peacebuilding is a complex system that contain manifold short-, medium- and long-term programmes that concurrently deal with both underlying as well as consequences of a conflict that needs working hand in hand with civil society, international institutions, NGOs, agencies, the private sectors and government bodies. In short term, it is to stabilising the peace process and preventing from relapsing into violent conflict. In the long term, cumulatively and collectively, to manage the origin of a conflict and set the bases for social justice and sustainable peace (HANDBOOK, 2007).
John Paul Lederach 2005 identifies three gaps for peace building: interdependence gap, a justice gap and a process-structure gap. Ordinarily conflict resolution composes in horizontal connection connotes with the same status like leaders with leaders and grassroots with grassroots nonetheless gap alleged in vertical interdependence. Even if resolutions are takes place after a given violence, it overlooked in addressing the structural change such as in economic, cultural, religious and social conditions, which lay justice gap on disparity between anticipated peace and on the concrete effect. Whilst the peace agreement terminate there is the negligence of keeping continuation on it and set to duplication of conflicts due to the absence of conflict transformation.
Galtung (1992), identified eight components for peace building, and classified human needs in to four parts: economic well-being, survival, identity and freedom. Accordingly, vulnerable to violence in four structures: direct violence (offending and murdering of people), structural violence I (gradual fatality from starvation, preventive disease and misery of unjust societal structure), structural violence II (dispossession from free will of preference and self-determination) and cultural violence (the validation of direct and structural violence through prejudice and discrimination on sexism, racism and nationalism). Subsequently the absence of this violence called negative peace where as the prevalence action to assist people in order to relieve those violence lead to positive peace which bring sustainable peace.
18.104.22.168. Dimensions to Peacebuilding according to USAID (1996)
a) The Structural Dimension
Structuralism presumed worsening of social circumstances, advocate violent conflict due to systematic and complex underlying of conflicts through asymmetrical political representations, environmental degradation and distorted land allotment that become intricate to achieve positive peace unless the structural causes of the conflict cannot address. Sustainable peace can apprehended through creating equal opportunities of political, economical and social conditions that entertain the interests of the entire groups via building institutions and intensifications of civil societies.
b) The Relational Dimension
The relational dimension envisage sustainable peacebiulding through plummeting animosity via mending and transformation of smashed relationships by emphasizing on future imagination, amnesty, trust building and reconciliation in order to augmentation common sympathetic amid the groups. The groups be supposed to perk up their connected relationships and attitude towards one another with intend of realizing sustainable peace and synchronization by protecting and respecting communal demands of the groups.
2.3.3. Sustainable Peacebuilding
Sustainable peace building is a process of attaining peace by preserving stability through supremacies of authority with keeping interest. Thus, carry out by pointing the finger at any endeavors lead to structural and physical violence; get rid of chauvinism, and prop ups friendly inter-reliant attitudes towards each other. Peace building is a long-term process of addressing the underlying conflicts whilst violent conflicts get end. It holds reconciliation, capacity building, transformations of confrontations and violence towards peaceful connections and social synchronization, facilitates the prospects to cures injures and sways more friendly interaction along with old opponents. The reduction of apprehension among groups and augmentation of association and collaborations between parties facilitate situation for stable peace that would lead to sustainable peace (Niklas & et hl, 2005).
Consequently, sustainable peace building effective via bottom-up loom unlikely entire top-down political schemes. This accentuate the elements of political actors and civil society, development cooperation institutions, NGOs, churches and state institutions are also keenly faithful to non-violent solutions in line with the interests of all groups in the conflict. It is significant in terms of advocating conflict resolution and peace on the agreements of the parties that rally rounds to the reconstructions of political and economical participation, and social structures to let for building of sustainable peace (Kasali, 2006).
22.214.171.124. The mainstream of Sustainable Peacebuilding: as point up by Paffenholz (2013) are relating with management, resolution, prevention and transformation of violent conflicts:
Conflict Management: is the process of ending violence through diplomatic ways. Its chief objective is a short-term management of an armed conflict by bringing the leaders of conflicting parties to negotiable table that has the ability to end large-scale violence. Its criticism is that mediators inclined to contemplate exclusively on the top leadership of the conflicting parties by overlooking profound causes of conflicts
Conflict Resolution: the target of conflict resolution is to resolve the deep roots of the conflict and restoring cracked associations of the groups by entailing national and local NGOs through discourse projects between groups or communities, peace education, conflict resolution training to enhance the peace building capacity of actors from one or different groups, and conflict resolution workshops
Conflict Prevention: can be form through direct prevention (providing urgent response to pending calamity for diminution of violence), structural prevention (attempt to handle the source of the underlying violence so as to guaranteed justice, human security and welfare) and systematic mechanism to bring sustainable peace
Conflict Transformation:is the process of transferring of hostility to sustainable peaceful interaction by swapping conflict resolution to conflict transformation. It focuses on addressing the underlying and adjoining causes of conflict
126.96.36.199 Conflict Resolution
Conflict is a natural incident that becomes an integral part of human interaction for economic, culture, political and social activities. Ever since conflict revolves in the universe, it never evaded throughout human history. It is feasible to handle in affirmative approaches for realistic outcomes. Tasew (2016) state, conflict could crop up among dwellers of different societies usually over claiming of right of ownership of natural resources and raid of cattle’s. For minimizing and controlling those threats states pertain conflict resolution mechanisms of legal and/or traditional system. Conflict resolution is a process of identifying the root causes of conflict and peacemaking to transform actual or potential violent and antagonistic relationship to friendly attitudes and peaceful interaction. This escorts to common approval of each group and facilitating workshops to communicate conflicting parties in order to solve their problems by themselves according to Hofsvang (2008).
Conflict resolution cataloged in to preventive (focus on convincing the individuals for negotiation) and corrective (emphasis on actions to resolve ongoing conflict) goals with embarking on the deep-rooted underlying of conflict through cultural and structural measurements thus achieved through non-coercive means. It exerts to address the fundamental causes of violence so as feasible to cultivate optimistic attitudes, alter the structure of violence and building faith among one another. This is through amplifying the organizations such as local and international conflict resolution NGOs, civil society, churches and academic institutions. This can dedicate to sustain their peaceful interaction through deterring the reoccurrence of future conflict (Pia & Diez, 2007).
Conflict resolution can be both informal (Traditional/Indigenous) and formal (Modern/legal) based on the intention of resolving or terminating conflicts in accordance with legal principles as well as intended to boost cooperation and deepen affiliation between the conflicting parties through dealing with the circumstances of disagreement, nurturing optimistic attitudes and dispel suspicion (Niklas & et al, 2005:18). Moreover, it include the participation of all actors in detection and dealing with core cause of the dispute via convincing as wrong doers is a guilty that determined whether he should pay compensation or just forgiveness or both. As well government should secure their quests such as development, recognition, identity, safety, distributive justice, food, shelter and security (Osei-Hwedie & Rankopo, 2012).
Indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms are informal ever aspire at adjusting detached interaction to sustain peace. The formal legal system crashes the ongoing conflict in the absence of dealing with its initial grounds of conflict and lacked to modify from antagonism to cooperated relation except accentuate on addressing the materialistic sources of conflict such as power and resource in the negligence of cultural and psychological triggering of conflict. Furthermore, the legal mechanism is ineffective to build sustainable peace, non-confidential, time-consuming, out of the managements of conflicting parties, stiff, actors-unsociable, costly and unattainable. There is lack of pre-prevention habit and keeping building peace rather than taking action exclusively when there is potential or actual conflict exists in Africa. It need to assess conflict from its grass root level to properly realize the past incident with the current situation as well prop up beliefs, values, attitudes, actions, interactions and interests (Tasew, 2016).
188.8.131.52.1. The Indigenous Concept of Conflict Resolution
Traditional conflict resolution process are informal mechanisms which become a well-structured, time-verified social system appended towards settlement, preservation and enhancement of social interfaces so as endeavor to settle violence, reinstate a balance and eradicate clashes. Osei-Hwedie & Rankopo (2012) identifies, it is a structured political, arbitral, judicial and the entities of institution in a community. It remain competence of social custom, values, norms, cosmovision and beliefs generated from experience of cultural life so as to grasp together members of collectives in smoothing their interactions and effectively set the common beneficial ends. It encompasses a complex system of compels adjoining the actors in the conflict by throw in positive energy of all stakeholders to reform social cohesion. Conflicts crop up with an assortment of circumstances like needs, values, interests, networks, beliefs, attitudes, fears, relationships, suspicions and actions depending on social context. The intent of conflict resolution is to look at the source of the conflict as much as to get hold clarification of present with past; to make ensure complete amalgamation of the groups; and to swerve from indictments and counter accusations, to mend injured feelings and to accomplish a concession that may facilitate to recover future cooperation.
Traditional conflict resolution mechanisms define as competence of agreed societal norms and customs to embrace effective collection of members and smoothly sustain the progress of their interaction for guarantying reciprocally beneficial ends. It takes part in two central roles: a proactive role to advance social solidarity, co-existence, harmony, peace; and a reactive role in terms of settling disagreement that already existed. It focuses on the principles of sharing, empathy, and collaboration in managing common troubles that accentuate the essence of humanity. This cultural means of resolving and settling arguments play a critical role in upholding peace and social cohesion in the communities by endorsing sharing and impartial allocation of resources thus progress a climate for sustainable peace building.
184.108.40.206.2. Indigenous conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Africa
Indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms are prominent in Africa, which strongly attached with historical, socio-political, cultural and economical living status of the society. It is unwritten though transferring to descendants through values and customs. It has socially accepted governing principles that practiced for long time with the enforcement and competence of generating sustainable peaceful approach alongside with tying societal connection. It governed by laws and sanctions that reconcile all sorts and intensity of confrontations using indigenous knowledge and wisdom of elders, clan chiefs, prominent leaders, acceptable and respected individuals. Its over run at council of elders, king‘s court and peoples assemblies in performing with symbolic gestures and ritual ceremony including swapping of gifts and slaughter of animals (Tasew, 2016). The spiritual aspects of conflict resolution refers to constructing and reinstating impaired liaison with God, ancestors, family, the sprits and neighbors according to the situation which can endorse resolutions of conflicts using internal (use of deterrence through fear of supernatural and personal shame) and external social (sanction) controls (Osei-Hwedie & Rankopo, 2012).
Tasew (2016) clarify the traditional Africans close ties with deep-rooted cultural facts played by elders to create strategy, resolving social problems and shape local hallucinations based on wisdom and skills that accumulated from their past experience and knowledge and spread from generation to generation. Hence, indigenous institutions have a proactive capacity of endorsing peace, synchronization, social cohesion and co-existence through get rid of the root-causes of the conflict, reconciling the conflicting group authentically, safeguarding and ensuring the security of members. In Ethiopia, indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms become extensively exercise in the entire parts of the country that operate in community level on the grounds of faith among them. For instance, ‘the gada of the Oromo, the Shimglina of the Amhara ; the Xeer of the Somali; the maada of the Afar; the Abo Gerbe of the Wajerat and Raya communities in Tigray are some of the various customary institutions found in Ethiopia (p.71).
Currently in Africa, traditional conflict resolution mechanisms are weakening due to internal as well as external pressures. Formal legal institutions are peeling its autonomy by attenuation the involvement on resolution process, whereby the legal systems have no/little feat in building sustainable peace. In Ethiopia during emperor Haile-Silassie- I, regime western legal system launched on the expense of indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms on the intention of modernizing the legal system. During the Derg regime, indigenous mechanisms swap in the rules and principles of peasant associations. Consecutively, EPRDF modified it through kebele supervision by merging two or three of ex-peasant associations and formed governmental teams in 50 per households. Then any kinds of violence reported to them that transfer to kebele administration. Even also youths discounting the traditional mechanisms and stimulate against guidance of leader of community leaders. The customary institutions relegated in most rural community. In areas where these institutions are to somehow working, their relationships with the formal institutions is not appreciable (Dagne, 2009).
220.127.116.11.3. Vaaland’s improvement model of Conflict Resolution
Vaaland‟s (2004) conflict resolution model is carrying out through workshop where cases distinguished and examined as cited by Kinnander (2011). The scheme divided into four various steps that are taking the conflict closer to a solution. The first step is gathering various outlooks to acquire apparent impression of the conflict via recognizing the issue that remain sources of the conflict. The second step pertain an assortment of appraisal standard, which connects the conflict to depressing effects on the correlations of the group. The third step applies to induce actors comprehend as well as seize a perception of what ought to be done to build up their association.
The fourth step is a process of complementary and depiction of the grounds for the issues in order to get in touch with communally objectives. Accordingly, he presupposed some options of how to accomplish the process. The first preference is an endeavor to shrink the gap amid the members via getting rid of quarrels, or optionally emphasized on sort out the perplexity and misapprehensions or at last strives to handle the range and outcome of the issues. As well, he asserts that while implementing this model the process ought to be verified and structured by a third party in order to stay away from any risk of disorder and dysfunctional disputes. The advantage of applying this process is that it entails both parties, assist them to be aware of and make out the violence with the intention of attain healthier interactions.
18.104.22.168. Conflict Prevention
Conflict is a product of incompatibility of interest over scarce resources on the same time. The venture of conflict resolution should go beyond resolving the violence to deterring the reoccurrences of conflict in the future. The prevention of violent conflict is a mechanism, method and approaches to evade and restrain the immense violent conflicts and reoccurrences of conflict in post-conflict situation. It is cautious to curtail the political and financial costs of handling violence, which has bundle of response options and effective than resolving after escalation and eruption of the conflict. There is direct and structural conflict prevention. Direct prevention is a short-term activity in order to prevent the often-imminent escalation of potential conflict through preventive deployment, confidence-building measures, workshops, sanctions, dialogue, special envoys and coercive diplomacy. Structural prevention is a long-term interference with the purpose of altering political, institutional and socioeconomic condition that can aggravates the re-emergence of violent conflict (Haider, 2014).
Conflict prevention is far less costly instruments of handling the intensification of conflict through two circumstances of either when there is momentous gesture of aggression or actual violence in order to foil the relapse of conflict. Prevention of conflicts takes place through different stages: early prevention before the eruption of violence, preventing arguments from swelling and mounting to armed conflict, and sustainable peace building in the aftermath violent conflict in order to deter the re-emergence of disputes (Melander & Pigache, 2007). It is also the system of facilitating the opportunities for conflicting parties to discuss on their incompatible goals before they go to open violence along with subversion of vulnerable conflict through dismantling the tendency of violence by reminding and building awareness of its adverse, signifying nonviolent alternatives, diminishing structural and trigger of underlying conflict (Dagne, 2009).
22.214.171.124. Conflict Transformation
According to John Paul Lederach (2012), conflict transformation is a long-term process that need protracted engagement and interaction of envisages prospects for shifting arguments into agreements and incompatible goals to compromised mutual benefit. It can ratify in multidimensional approaches such as diminishing cultures of violence, reconstruct a habit of good governance, diversifications of civil societies, curing psychological injuries, consistent reconciliation, improving their cooperation and sustainable societal development (Pia and Diez, 2007). It is a versatile process of constructively shifting conducts, attitudes, affiliation and dialogues in hostile-prone conflict settings. Furthermore, it deals with fundamental structures, cultures and institutions that endorse as well as stipulate violent social and political conflict.
Conflict transformation has triple interlinked aspects that need to implement simultaneously: perception and attitudes (suspicion, sentiments of pre-eminence or faith and confidence), context (whether there are equal distributions of fundamental services, fair opportunities of economic as well as political activities or not) and behavior (aggression and corruption or peaceful co-existence and discourse) (Dijk, 2009). Accordingly, as (Lakhdar, 2013) allude to Lederach (1997), reinforce conflict resolution by labeling into four changes of conflict: personal change (behaviour, attitudes and perceptions), relationship change (conflict management mechanisms, communication pattern, inter cooperation, interpersonal and decision process), cultural change (traditional conflict resolution mechanism) and structural change (inequality, ethnic, racial and religious discrimination). It requires policies, conditions and strategies for sustaining prototypes of non-violent performance amid antagonistic groups. This facilitates to build, reinstate and sustaining constructive and interdependent instructions rather than restraining handlings of conflicts only on ordinary linear trend of begin, escalate and stop for every sectors and each actors in analogous mechanisms (Berghof, 2012).
Historical Backgrounds of Emerging conflicts and Resolution Mechanisms in West Guji Zone
3.1. Historical overview of West Guji
The Guji are one of the majot branches of Oromoia in southern Ethiopia. The ancestral homeland of the Guji was located in Girja, a place to the northeast of Adola. Adola was the birthplace of the primeval Guji ancestor called Gujo. Gujo with his three sons (Urago, Mati and Hoku) and other members of the family moved northeastward and settled in a place called Girja. Girja has been popular throughout Guji and remembrance of this cradle land, often called themselves “Guji-Girja” meaning the Guji from Girja. Uraga are one of the largest groups of Guji who live in West Guji zone. In the west, Uraga shares a common border with the Kore, Burji and Konso ethnic groups and in south with Borana. The Uraga practice a mixed economy, although the predominant economy in the lowlands is pastoralists (Berhanu, 2012).
Guji Oromo have three clans, which construct two large blocks called western (Uraga) and eastern (Mati and Hoku). Urago has seven sub-clans: Golla, Haloo, Galalcha, Daraartuu, Agantuu, Sabboortuu and Waajjituu (Wako, 1998). There is confederation among three of them. Traditionally, each section had its own territorial boundary and political leader in the form of abba gada (an age grade leader). However, each group are independent with its own territorial boundaries and gadaa leaders, there is mutual interdependence. Since they regard each other as tied by blood relations, they act together in the case of war against neighboring groups, help each other during economic crises, and conduct gada rituals together. There are always allies with each other against outsiders. Due to the minimal contacts and hostile relationships with their neighboring group, the Guji have developed peaceful relations among themselves. They do not tend to fight with each other. They are extremely careful not to spill Guji blood, and, if it happens, they are always ready to solve the problem promptly to maintain their peace and unity (Taddesse, 1995 & 2006).
The Guji shared a common border with a number of both the Oromo and non-Oromo peoples. They bounded by Lake Chamo, Lake Abaya, Gidabo River, and Genale River in west, northwest, north and in the east respectively. The Oromo neighbors, the Borana and the Arsi, bordered the Guji on the south and northeast respectively. The non-Oromo neighbors are the Konso, Burji, Kore and Gaammo in west, Walayita, Sidaama and Gedeo in north (Berhanu, 2012).
Guji can be divided into three distinct ecological zones on the basis of differences in altitude: lowland, medium altitude and highland. There calendar consists of four seasons. Semptember-November is short rain season (Hagayya), December-February long dry season (Bona), March-May long rainy season (Ganna) and June-August short dry season (Adolessa) (Wako, 1998). The Western part of Guji found in the Rift valley. The temperature in this areas ranges from about 20 to 31 degree centigrade, while its upper boundary lies 1500 meters above the sea level. It has low average annual rainfall and suffers from periodic drought. In the lowland part, the population is spreads thinly over vast savanna land, subsisting predominantly on livestock herding and a minimal cultivation of maize. When the grass withers in the dry season, the option of those in the lowland was to move their herds to the middle zones when they had kinship ties. Likewise, individuals from the middle and high land areas often utilize the lower elevation when there is heavy rain in their respective areas (Taddesse, 1995).
3.1.1. Socio-political Administrative Structure of West Guji
West Guji are one of the many branches of the Oromo nation, who live predominantly in the present day Guji and Borana zones of the Oromia national regional state. The Guji people speak the Oromo language, the largest spoken Cushitic language in the Horn of Africa. The Guji had an egalitarian social-political and cultural system organised under a superstructure called the gadaa system and preserved indigenous cultural practices (Asebe, 2012).
Guji has three indigenous political system called the gadaa officials, the gadaa assembly and the Qallu. Abbaa gadaa is the top official in the political leadership. The gadaa assembly called caffe also elected more officials: hayyu, jal’dhaaba, waamura, faagga, and torbi. In every Guji clan the caffe is the highest organ of power to which about the the abba gadaa and the rest of the officials were responsible. For instance, the cafee has the power to censure the abba gadaa whom it could even dismiss from the office before the end of his term of office. Thus, the gadaa assembly is another essential organ in the multi-head system, which enabled the traditional political system to function properly. The gadaa officials constituted the third essential organ in the function of the traditional political system. In fact, the duty of abbaa gadaa was more than political functions that extended to performing a variety of social, economic and religious activities as well (Berhanu, 2012).
The traditional socio-political structure of the Guji society was dominated by two crosscutting organizations with qallu (supreme religious leader) at the top and gadaa. There are three gadaas of Guji clans. Gadaa Uraga, Gadaa Mati and Gadaa Hoku. Under this, there are nine senate of Guji clan. The western Guji clan of Uraga has three senates (Haaganaa Uraagaa): abba odolcha (yaa’a), abbaa muurtii (yaa’a Doorii) and abbaa Murtii (yaa’a Raabaa). These institutions have their respective functions in the traditional Guji society. Marriage practices, religious life, social structure, political administration, military organization as well as relations with neighbors governed by rules and regulations of the system. Including the life and career of individuals shaped by this system (Taddesse, 1995 & Waqo, 1998).
There are five classes of gadaa system, which recruited all male of Guji: Mudana, Halchisa, Dalana, Harmufa and Robale. Once recruited to one of these classes, however, the members would remain in that class for the rest of their life. All male of Guji, apart from being recruited to the gadaa class also initiated to the system of grades simultaneously. Gadaa system of most Guji clans has twelve grades whose name with their age gap from the First to the last: Dabale (0-8), Qare (9-16), Kusa (17-24), Raba (25-32), Dori (33-40), Gadaa (41-48), Batu (49-56), Yuba guda (57-64), Jarsa guduru (65-72), Jarsa qulqulu (73-80) and Jarsa raga (81-above) (Berhanu, 2012, Taddesse, 1995 & Waqo, 1998).
Formal membership to the gadaa system is based on initiation where positions of one’s own father in the system of grades. In this respect, a newly born child would be initiated to the first grade called dabale exactly when his father has reached the age of forty and thus, had completed the rites of passage to the sixth grade called gadaa. Gadaa grades are stages of development. One complete cycle of the gadaa system has the time span of eight years. Formal membership to the gadaa system is based on initiation where positions of one’s own father in the system of grades. In this respect, a newly born child would be initiated to the first grade called dabale exactly when his father has reached the age of forty and thus, had completed the rites of passage to the sixth grade called gadaa (Hinnant, 1977).
There are two groups of gadaa grades called active and passive, which marked with the six grades – gadaa. Those grades before the sixth grade is active whereas all grades come after are passive. In Guji system, the three grades that come immediately after the sixth grade were retirement. In their retirement, they have very limited duties that consisted, mainly, of ritual and advisory services, which they gave to the members of junior gadaa classes and to the community at large. Nevertheless, the three grades, all of which are commonly jaarsa (elders), where merely superfluous, since the 80 years full cycle of gadaa system was completed at the end of yuba guda. Inversely, active grade members have duties and responsibilities, which they accomplished during their stay starts from second grade (Berhanu, 2012).
Qaallu is the leader of the Oromo traditional religion. The Guji were one of the Oromo groups who seem to have their own Qaallu as early as the sixteenth century. The religious services, which the Qaallu give in the traditional Guji society consisted of two kinds: services to individuals and to the Guji as well. Every Guji in respect of age and sex, attend the religious service of the Qaallu blessing in Galma (area). There is fala, which is rituals and public pray for peace, rain and abundance. There is selected areas of exercising the ceremony in the elevated grounds or hills called koba that is usually surmounted by an oda (sycamore) or similar other trees in a specific months of the year (Berhanu, 2012).
West Guji are predominantly agro-pastoralists. The Guji have a mixed economy of animal husbandry and crop cultivation. They subsist mainly by cultivating grain, pulses and enset (false banana). However, their real wealth consists in their cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. Emotions and pride are center in stock. Cattle herding is important not only for economic purpose, but is also important in social and ritual life. The social status of a person among the Guji finds its expression in the number of cattle that one owns. Ritually, cattle used for sacrificial purposes. The owner of many cattle is a respected person. Marriage is, in most cases, based on self-selection (hawadi) or arranged by the agreement between the groom’s and bride’s families (kadha). In marriage ceremony, bride wealth is paid by the groom’s family to the bride’s family in the form of cattle and honey in old days, and money currently. Nevertheless, the number of cattle paid for bride wealth was small in comparison (Taddesse, 1983).
3.1.2. Guji-Borana hostile Relation in the quest for West Guji zone
Guji and Borana are independent ethnic groups of Oromo branch. Both groups have the same ancestor, language and Gada systems. They have history of both pleasant and conflictual relations. The enmity of Guji-Borana starts in 16th century during the Borana Abba Gadaa of Doyo Boro (594-1602) (Gololicha Bali). According to discussants of Guji FDG in Dugda dawa districts of west Guji zone, Guji have both conflict and peaceful relations with all of their neighbors. Guji and Borana had the history of extreme love and hate to each other according to elders in FDG. It is during Abba Gadaa Liban Jaldesa that menelik incorporate Borana through the assistance of Guji noble called abba Boru Oroga cuwe that inform for Borana as enemy is coming. They advice them to choose whether incorporate peacefully or resist. Then the famous systematic warrior person of the time on Borana called Kanduse Jilo convinced the people to incorporate peacefully, in the area of Abba qalllu rulling. This time they stayed around current Bule Hora, why yet claim until Bule Hora now. Borana prospect and retrospect with the land lost in the earlier time and on the other side neighbor ethnic groups peruse their lands. Then Guji by rifle push down and Borana retreat. Then rob livestock. Borana retreat and left their lands for two reasons through pushing of Guji by rifle and wild animals. When they occupied a dense forest areas, wild animals starts to eat humans and Borana retreat to bare wide areas to prevent themselves from wild animals.
Typically, on the earlier time the conflict of herdsmen shifted to ethnical conflicts. Nowadays people are awaking from blunder of concluding personal disputes as ethnical conflicts and retreating to other places. While extreme warfare takes place, after five or six months come altogether and practice peaceful social interaction. In the past when one of the groups prepares for war reveals through shifting their family to save places that the next group noticed and start retreating. This intensified by the culture of gubisa, killing a man for get hold of traditional social stature. If a person could not kill somebody from other ethnic groups, he would not get cultural honor and presumed as obloquy, predominantly by girls. He criticized as a coward person that incapable of guarding his family. Moreover, his wife would not arrange traditionally prestigious seating made up of animal skin. Such reaction drive men for murder.
The conflict between Borana and Guji was for supremacy at the former. Both argue and compete on seniority of origin of human and Abba gadaa of Oromo. In Guji oral transmission, the place called Tullu Nama durii is the homeland of the Guji, the Oromo and other human being as well, which Borana also claim for themselves. My informants of former Guji Abba gadaa clarify, the Borana deceive the seniority for themselves though they know Guji’s seniority in their mind. He exemplify through mentioning as Borana Abba gadaa never touch the head of Guji abba gadaa for blessing since, afraid to put hand in his senior elder of Guji Abba gadaa. In my focus group discussion at Alona locality of Arero districts in Borana zone, including Abba Gadaa of Borana Guyo Goba who was in the power (2016) reflects, generally they are senior while the debate on subject of seniority comes after the investigation of scholars and academicians commenced. The explanation of Borana was since the origin of humans as well as Oromo is Borana, for the reason that Borana abba gadaa is senior for all Oromo. The Guji elders justifies the fallacy of seniority of Abba Gadaa comes while Haileslassei calls the children of both groups for studding abroad. Guji refused to give his child whereas Borana gave the son from Wattu clan, which they treat them like slavery and the least from their clan. In view of the fact that this groups know only Borana that then they study about Oromo Gadaa by making Borana Abba gadaa senior. The view of Guji informants, Borana accentuation their seniority is for magnifying their superiority by suppressing Guji. While Borana perceive as Guji compete them in any circumstances.
Another issue is Guji anger on Borana contemptuous label of feminine form, contrarily to Guji entitles Borana in masculine form. Thus, Guji assume as Borana stifle even with words. Informants from West Guji zone explicit Guji aggressed on Borana naming them in feminine gender. Guji call Borana and Arsi in masculine form unlike for other ethnic group, which calls in feminine form. Taddesse (2006) argues, the Guji follow a general pattern of calling others (except the Borana and Arsi) as ‘she’ using the feminine gender. This is to say that another male is in some sense less than one self. Guji call each other and the Borana and Arsi as mell, and the rest as female (women). The Guji, Borana and Arsi groups of Oromo, used to consider each other siddi saddin, which means three enemies against one another, despite their common origin and culture of Oromo. If killed by the enemy, awards the killer with honor and fills him with pride tantamount to mirga. Killing or capturing of a human being from the other groups does not amount to mirga. It is the value attached to an act of bravery that assumes killing or capturing of a man from among the three enemies and the killing of four types of wild beasts (an elephant, a lion, a buffalo and a rhinoceros) with the conception that it awards the killer and captor with a certain value of social recognition.
Borana’s intellectual informant reveals that in earlier time Borana was consider as strong warrior as today’s Guji and even disregard them in the far past. The Guji have always perceive themselves as very fierce fighters and aggressive, which feared by their neighbors. “They said fighters meant Guji and considered themselves as great warriors who were not afraid of any other groups” (Taddesse 2006:212). Borana were not compute equally killing of Arsi with Guji. Their rationalization was Guji slaughter latently while Borana and Arsi confront face to face. Later on Guji become very powerful and push Borana exceedingly up to Surupha. Borana claim up to Bule Hora of the current municipal town of West Guji. They exemplify, even during Menelik force come to Borana, their Abba gadaa were in a place called Kuya of Bule Hora next village. Guji were advanced by modern military equipments like gun before Borana that helps to drove out them. This was the ground for West Guji and Boran demarcation at Kilkile during Haileslassei.
Another grievance raised by Borana informants was murder of their religious leader qallu and Abba gadaa. This incident further divulges by Berhanu (2012) by calling Odditu war, whereby Borana qallu of the Odditu clan killed by Guji in 1946. In fact, the conflict was tricked by British subversive policies of provoking inter-ethnic conflict against Hailesslassei. The objective was to undermine the capability of restored emperor to rule over the country after the expulsion of Italian invasion. The British seems to have created one such problem in Jamjam province, which had predominantly occupied by Guji. As well, mention recently their Abba gadaa killed by Guji. Those action deepen the animosity among each other. From Liben Wata to Jaldes Borbor a lot of Aba Gadaas of Borana killed by Guji.
Boundary is a contentious issue, which Guji accept in the killkille whereas the Borana claim edge nearer to West Guji zone as elucidated by scholars of both groups interviewee. Borana justifies Guji pushed them down in murdering and when boundary becomes sensitive issue in ethnic federalism policy, starts to awaken by grieving as already lost. Nevertheless, Borana could not take any action now, they regret on their lost land since, they cannot return it back for themselves. The Guji accept and do not have doubt on the borderline of Kilkile while Borana are displeasing via claiming up to Dugda dawa and Bule hora.
The Borana prominent historian who got an Honorary doctoral Degree from Bule Hora University Dr. Borbor Bulee reveal, Borana and Guji were looked each other as enemy even though now put under an umbrella of great Oromia and do not kill each other as before. Currently the conflict is on land. Earlier there was not border issue that everyone can works in any land. Nowadays every land is drawn and boarder under ownership of specific ethnic groups. Since both groups are pastoralists and use grazing together, it is difficult to drawn demarcation. The problem is when they drive their cattle, the other claim on crossing others border and utilize grass. Even Borana historically claim until Bulehora and Abaya Gelana, which became lost ownership after legal demarcation. The inner animosity among each other is on claiming of ownership. Earlier there was a freedom to move anywhere in the absence of border demarcation of possession pattern. After ethnic federalism, everyone suspicious on welcoming others so as to prevent losing their lands by referendum.
Borana wishes if they can return their ancient territory, which included with demarcation of West Guji. The Borana people did not grievance in separation of West Guji zone since there are no Borana inhabitants under West Guji areas. The discussants of Borana also prove it is not their intention to merge with West Guji rather it is the elites and governmental arrangements. Even, in division of West Guji zone the inhabitants of Borana pleased since communities do not profit anything rather left only hostility and animosity. It is cabines for their own personal calculations merged altogether. Rather people need to return the former name of Negelle Borana, which now renamed Negelle Guji. They need it due to historical connection with the place that perform rituals.
3.2. Historical Background of Burji People
The precise origin of Burji people is unknown yet. Sali Chote (1995:33) hypothesized the origin of Burji from Arab. The name Burji is derived after the book name Burjigi. There lived a shariif called shariif Buran owning Holy book known as Burjigi. Most writers mention, initially the Burji came from the country of the Amhara originally from the place of Shoa where the Burji had lived together with the Amhara that called them Kawwee. Then driven out by Mohamed Gran and migrated to Liban where they met the Konso and Borana around 16th century. The Burji originally lived together with the Konso and the Borana in Liban (Kellner, 2003). Oral tradition of elder shows that each year in Liban, the Burji, the Borana, and the Konso would take turns in providing a sacrificial sheep or goat that they would jointly sacrifice in order to protect themselves from evil and to assure the people’s well-being. They yearly sacrifice gave expression to the social and cultural bond, which united the three groups, and to their desire to live together as one community.
One day, when it was the turn of the Burji to provide the sacrificial animal, the Konso came at night and stole the animal that the Burji had reserved for the sacrifice. The Konso ate the sacrificial animal and threw its bones and intestines in front of a Burji man’s house. The following day the animal was missing. Since people found its remains in front of a Burji man’s house, the Burji were blamed for defiling the sacrificial animal. The Burji were called for several joint meetings in order to defend their honor, but because they were angry about the false accusation, they did not appear. Finally, the Borana drove the Burji out of Liban, and moved in a westerly direction and settled at a place called Abuno. Then they introduce with Guji and shift to Barguda in retreating from Guji attack. Thus, Guji found them there also and retreat to Muri. Finally migrated to their present homelands, situated on the southern slopes of the Amarro mountains.
Just before their final settlement on the present day Burji land, the people divided into two groups- the Burji (south) and the Guba (north). This group divided in to Dashecha (north) and Malicha (South) clan. Burji people are closely linked to each other by kinship relationship and most of them claim decent from small clans. The Dasecha constitute two-thirds of the total 39 clans (103 sub-clans) include Umma, Segan, Yabbi, Kadado, Bamballa, Hirole, Labbo, and Modi, etc. The Burji clan system consists more than eighty-five clans. There are more than thirty clans under the Malicha whereas Dashecha has about forty clans. Marriage among the members of the same clan is strictly forbidden among the Burji since it is believed all members in a clan are considered as members of one family, gaffa (Yamral, 2013).
There is a general council called ansh- gorsa composed of essential political, religious, social and military officials of Burji.They have a complex generation grading system called hagi. There are about 8 hagi (Harbora, Qumbe, Yato, Mote, Barbara, Chitiwa, Kalala and Balle) system and 32 elected representatives who take leadership roles. Rather than combining generation sets and age grades, which is the typical system among the Oromo, the Burji system is based on formal links between two generation set cycles called hagi and Gadaa. Hagi in some respects resembles in the Sidama system whereas the Gada links the Burji with the oromo. The Burji Gadaa system has five grades namely: Mudana, Halichisa, Aggole, Harmuffa and Robale. One Gadaa stayed in power for eight years. Therefore, forty years is the ideal years to complete one cycle. Membership in the Gadaa was only through the line of the eldest son (Ayele, 1988 & Yamral, 2013).
Social order is hierarchically organizes as Olleikana-Jelidaba-Masha-Deina– Woma and Gannie. The last two has highest power; Woma is the king of Burji whereas Gannie is highest religious leader. Traditionally people believed in what is called “Kalie- Wonto”, also known as Black God (Sky-God), which is the supreme powerful creature of everything. Furthermore, other rituals and belief systems accepted by some sections of the people known as Illalie or Wachie. At present about three- fourth of the Burji people are either Muslim or Protestants, and the rest are Christians Orthodox (Ayele, 1988 & Yamral, 2013).
Burji incorporated in to modern central administration of Menelik II by the army of Habte Giyorgis in August 1897. The North Ethiopian troops, who were armed with modern Europeans weapons, committed bloody massacres in the south, rampaged the country and enslaved the population arbitrarily. The Burji were forced into compulsory labor, which known in the south as gabbar. When the Italians invaded this region in 1936, they were welcomed as liberators by a large percentage of the Burji. The Italians abolished the compulsory labour (which they did, of course not for humanitarian reasons but for justification of their own imperialistic policy). The Burji even joined the Italians and engaged in the anti-guerilla war, with heavy loose of life. After the re-installation of the Ethiopian throne in 1941, the Burji paid dearly for their collaboration with the Italians, and fell victim to bloody campaigns of revenge carried out by members of the Amharic Resistance (Kellner, 2003).
Since the conquest of southern Ethiopia by Emperor Menelik II, at the end of the 19th centuries, the majority of the Burji have left their homelands and built up communities at various places in Ethiopia (Moyale, Yaballo, Bule Hora, Mega, Amaro, Gedeo, Konso, Hiddi Lola, Awaasa and Addis Ababa) and Kenya. They deepen in Kenya to the extent of forming a name, which called Marsabet based on Burji farmer named Marsa bet. The name is loosely translated as Marsa’s Home from official language of Ethiopia- Amharic Marsa bet. Borenton (1997) lists pulling and pushing factors of in and out flow of Burji people since the arrival of Menelik’s army in the 1890’s. Pushing factors were force works in area of origin, these are persuading them to move away and include heavy tax, insufficient farmland, poverty, inter-ethnic conflicts and military services etc. The pull factors include availability of farmland on neighbors, relative lower tax, trading opportunity and security in other country, etc. Moreover, a Physical factor is a predominant factor of Burji migrating to neighboring places is due to population pressure and land degradation. In the past, Gara Burji (Burji Mountain) was very conducive for settlement because of its pleasant environment and its higher productivity. Later on, due to incentive continuous cultivation of annual crops, and even tree crops, soil fertility declined. However, in order to overcome this problem the people expanded to surrounding lowlands in order to cultivate the fertile land of Gallana, Malka-Jawe, Tisho and Mure areas of Guji. It is this expansion results for clashes with Guji while they cultivate by crossing their land.
3.2.1. Geographical Description of Burji
Burji is one of the 79 districts in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPRs) of Ethiopia. It is one of the five special districts (Konso, Burji, Dirashe, Amaro and Kore) of Segen people zone. Their territory is subdivided in to 1 town and 24 rural villages (kebeles). The present Burji land shares its boundaries with Guji mountainous land to the north east; to the south and southeast with Borana; to the north Baditu; and to the west with Began River, to the west by the Konso special woreda, and to the north by the Amaro special woreda. Its relative location is southeast of Lake Chamo and east of the Segen River. Even though there is some kind of cultural exchange with the neighboring tribes to some extent, they very rarely intermarried with other tribes (Borenton, 1997).
The center of the woreda is Soyam, which located in the distance of 532 and 262 kilometers from Addis Ababa and Hawassa respectively. Sego was the former capital town of Burji that established 1936. Then transfer to Soyama at 1966. The altitude of the woreda is ranges between 860-2560 meters above sea level. The total land area is 1374.6km2. Burji has 86 kilometers of all-weather roads and 20 kilometers of dry-weather roads, for an average road density of 80 kilometers per 1000 square kilometers. The annual mean temperature is ranged from 15.1 to 27.5 degree centigrade and the annual rainfall distribution various from 801 to 1000mm. In 2007 census, Burji has 56,681 inhabitants. From this, 6, 186 and 50, 495 were rural and urban dwellers respectively. In terms of population composition, the number of youth is dominant (Markos, 2011 & Salle, 1995).
The land is rectangular shape of which length is from north to south. Its width is bout 80 – 120 kilometers where as its length is more than that (approximately 100 – 120 kilometers). In terms of latitude and longitude, the special districts is located approximately between 50 -50 35N and 370 46’ -380 10E respectively. The overall ecological feature of the Burji is characterizes by three-climate zone. 14% the area is Kaie (highland) between 1500 to 2000 meters and above, which consists of 6 % population. Lame (moderate) climate area is 46 % with 80 % population and 40 % of Kola (desert) consists of 25 % of population. There are two rainy seasons: Karara (big rainy season) and Hagaye (small rain season). The average height of the Burji Mountains is about 6000ft. above sea level. The highland is full of water springs, which end their water either into river Sagan or into river Galana. The land is endows with wild and domestics animals and natural resources of water resources, hills, rivers, mountains, and forests and fertile cultivates lands. Because of the physical environment, the land is very conducive for agriculture and livestock, which enable them to grow vegetables, root crops like Enset, and Cereals like Teff, Wheat, Maize, Sorghum, and Sugarcane. Teff is one of the most valued cash crops of Burji (Abebe, 2010 & Mark 2011 & Salle, 1995).
The nationalities live in clustered villages in groups. In each locality, the settlements and farmlands are separately organized. Each cluster has its own culturally defined boundaries called Olcho. Post 1991 political system restructured Burji kebeles. Benya, Berek, Gobeze and Tinshwa Qeyate were formerly part of Gumaiyde woreda. However, after 1995, the kebeles integrated into Burji. In contrast, kebeles such as Medheba, Hidha-Korma, Soyama-Sorro, Sororro-Malka Jawe, Dheqona- Abekessa and Wolasso-Gossa were alienate from Burji woreda and integrated into Bule Hora woreda of current West Guji zone. It is divided into eight different administrative regions namely: Killicho- Lemo Gemiyo, Geshara- Daldho, Ottomalo, Ralaya, Shay- Shay, Waleya- Ladhise- Gara, Wordeya and Yabano. Each of them subdivided into various villages (Yamral, 2013).
The language of Burji is grouped into Cushitic language. They are actually, bilingual the Afan Oromo language as well as their native language, Burjenk Afay (Burji language). It is entirely different from the Borana and Guji who are situated near to the Burji. However, there is a close connection between the Sidama and Burji language. However, few other ethnic groups speak such as Amharic, Korete and Konso language live in cooperation with the Burji nationality. There are two rainy seasons: from April-June and November-January. During the dry season (January-March) Burji man, engage in trade activities with neighboring tribes of Guji and Konso. One of the most important bases of trade is cloths such as weave, bado, kondala, buliko and game. So that, there was a market for economic exchange in the traditional Burji based on barter system, for instance, exchange weave with ox and other herds of Guji tribe. Burji are strong agriculturalists (Ayele, 1988).
3.2.2. Historical sequence of Guji-Burji Conflicts
The fragile relation between Guji-Burji overviewed under historical, political, cultural, social, economical and environmental context of the state. The political circumstances of the state in successive Ethiopian regimes put impact on the inter-ethnic relationship of the two groups.
Guji-Burji relations start with the shift of Burji to Barguda. The Guji found them in their passage to hunt for grazing and water for their livestock. After then onwards, Burji elders clarify as, Guji murder them for unknown reason and retreated them to Muri, which found them there again and shifted to Weldena. While they fail to spot places to recoil from enemy, they brewed a systematic hurdle in the side road of Guji by grubbing ditch. That helps Burji to kill easily as Guji swallowed in a ditch with their ridded horse. This system temporarily deters the periodic death of Burji. Later on Guji modified killing mechanism whereby go to Burji dwell first by detaining his horse with tree. Moreover, One time Guji kill around 99 men according to key informant of Burji Abba Gadaa (2nd rank), which fanatic hatred in the mids of Burji. After time being, Burji could build the capacity of defending themselves outstandingly, during Derg time.
During Menelik time, youths of both groups had game of which the winner taken the captives to his home. There were brokers who propose and arrange the time and place for match. They had the rule of exchanging the captives with reimbursement. Guji release his captives by rewarding heifer per each captive whereas Burji by providing traditional immense garb (buliko). They exchange their captives with reward in traditional bazaar at the place called Kilta lina. If anyone denied recompensing to release his captives then they killed him. Gradually this killing altered to animosity and vengeances among each other. Guji starts murdering from killer kin whereas Burji kill any Guji the found from neither kinfolk nor liable person.
During the reign of Emperor Haile Sillasie I (1930–1974), get underway of contending over land. Disputes between the two local balabats (appointed chiefs) – Balambaras Endashaw Udesso of Guji and Girazmach Damte Dawe of Burji had initiated competition over resources- land that results inter-ethnic mistrust between the two groups until now. The dispute was over Algana Barguda, an area currently administered by West Guji of adjacent to the Burji territory. By assigning the land up to Habas River to the Burji local chief, the imperial regime initiated the rivalry between the local elites of the two groups. After the overthrow of the imperial regime, the area continued administering under Burji with merging with them seven villages of Guji such as melka jawe, biyo, soyama soro, medhiba, chokono, ebebes and dhokuno that administerd by Burji until during Derg. This aggressed Guji on claiming for their land. These arrangements affect current interactions of the two groups. While introduction of the new political system of ethnic based federalism, Burji lost those villages to current est Guji zone administration, which claim until today as well as for the future.
In the Derg regime, there was an incident of mass execution of Guji. In 1975 the military regime murder more than 377 Guji at once. Soro accident was due to Derg concomitantly found list of signature of Guji who join opposition party –OPLF and 31 dead body of Burji that killed by Guji. This was the milestone for worsening Guji Burji relations. They made Burji responsible for this incident. Since they were collaborator of government action through grabbing hold of governmental titanic backing whilst they show corpse of 19 killed men in Walay, 7 in Segen and 5 in other places by Guji, which provoked the military commands by Takele Wolde of derg official instantaneously to take action. Moreover, it was accompanied by Burji sing “Burjin qottiin mishinqa Guji dutti yikrta gaffa Burjin mufate gujin laffen gubate” which means, “the Burji cultivate cereals the death of the Guji made us feel sorry but whenever the Burji get disappointed it is the Guji’s bone that set on fire”. These remain in the heart of Guji as revenge of abhorrence.
When EPRDF come to power, initially there were periodic killing. According to elders, Guji kill seven herdsmen. This situation disconnected both groups for four years and get on communicating afterwards. Then after periodic killings became minimizes of individuals and start to respect each other, markedly in the while of diversified educated folks. Soon after the introduction ethnic based federalism in 1995, the nature of conflict changed to resource competition. The Burji also got competence of defending themselves to the extent of taking lands of Guji according to Burji 2nd abba Gadaa pronounce. Burji need to take it back those seven villages lost by West Guji administration by claiming until Habas. The Burji become systematic to take Guji land by expanding and pushing their cultivation to Guji lands.
3.3. Indigenous Mechanisms of Resolving Conflicts
3.3.1. Burji Indigenous Institutions
126.96.36.199. Anish-Gors council
The overall structure and composition of the council has similarity with modern repetitive council or parliamentarian system. In council all leaders with higher social, political and spiritual are represented. It encompasses the former office holders who have retired, the contemporary officials and the leaders of each clan and the assistances of the core office holders. According to the elders, the core office holder are Woma, Dyna and Masha. Each of these officials has their own council who can support and advise them in dealing with multifaceted socio-cultural, political and economic issues of the society. The overall structure and power system of governance of each office are woma, dyna, masha, jadhab, and ansh hierarchicallyfrom up to down (Markos, 2011).
188.8.131.52. Conflict resolution between Olchos in Burji
Olcho is one of the administrative districts in the traditional governance scheme of the Burji. Whenever conflict occurs between Burji, its handling is by the governance of the olcho. Accordingly, the contemporary leader of the olcho, Ealla, sends elders to the victim’s olcho. The elders can be from the violator olcho and express how the violator’s olcho leader regrets on what is violated between the two olchos. This will be addressed to the contemporary leader, Ealla, of the victim’s olcho. In addition, the elders lobby the victim’s olcho leader for talk and discussion with the violator’s olcho. Then the olcho leader, most likely, appoints the elders for other time to express his willingness after consulting the elders’ council of the olcho. Then after consultation, the elders meet to deal the issue with the mediation of Ambicha. Then the victim’s olcho brings female lamb and the violator’s olcho brings an ox on order to perform the conflict resolution ritual performance in order to avoid further violence between the olchos (Abebe, 2010 & Markos, 2011).
184.108.40.206. Burji Indigenous Conflict resolution mechanism with Neighboring Ethnic Groups
As a matter of fact, occasionally there are conflicts between the Burji and other ethnic groups who share border with the Burji society. One of the main causes of those conflicts is in competition over resources. If such conflicts happen, the Burji society has their own means’s of mitigating the problem. The most important person is called Miltu. Miltu is the one who provide good offices for the protagonists. The Miltu try to communicate both contenders at the market place. He pushes both parties to the conflict accept the offer for mediation by the Miltu, the following conflict mitigation procedures will be take place.
The first step of mitigating the conflict is the exchange of offers. The party who killed the member of other ethnic group brings and the party who is the victim of the violence will offer the female lamb. It is believed that these cattle will bring peace and mutual trust among the group as well as cool down the tense situation among the parties to the conflict. Then the Genni of Bambala from the Releya Olcho will slaughter the cattle by blessing for peace and reconciliation. Then discussion and mediation process take place among the parties to the conflict. The next step will be exchange of hostages, which possibly hold during the conflict. However, the exchange of the hostage is not free. There is payment of four to six cattle to the hostage were given maximum care and treatment by the hostage takers. Therefore, the payment is given to compensate for the expense of hostage taker. The hostage exchange will take place in the common market places (Abdulfeta, 2016; Abebe, 2010 & Markos, 2011).
3.4. Indigenous Political Organisation of West Guji
From three children of Gujo, one was Urago. In their displacement and distribution to different places, the one who called Urago took one cow and his family and settled around Hagere mariam (now Bule Hora). One day Urago calls his brothers for meetings and they came altogether with all their cattle and relatives. They met at a place called Mie Boku, which in 2015 Abba Gadaa Jilo Man’o transition ceremony takes place. The aim of this meeting was to enable them not to forest each other and to discuss about their ways of life. On this meeting, they wanted to choose the coordinator or leader and to play ground to the way in which they live intact. They chosen a person named Dima Wedera from the Urago family. He became the first administrator (moti). The first meeting ends up there. Then they returned to their places. As time passes, the Urago family started showing superiority and subordinated others. The result of the second meeting was choosing advisors (meltu). These advisors came from each family. Another outcome of the meeting was dividing each family in clans, which totally summed up to be eighteen firras (clans) (Abeba, 1986).
After the death of the first moti the advisor elected female moti. Her name was Ako Menoye. As soon as she got the administrative post, she announced female superiority. She dismissed the previous advisors and assigned women as her advisor (meltu). Not only this, she was asking the community much impossibility to do. For instance, order to bring a sack full of flea. To build house that neither reach the earth nor the sky (in the middle of air). To leave their villages within a day (godana); men to carry children on their back; to keep all cattle in the corral but they must graze; to bring her a pole that reach from earth to sky; to bring sack made of animal skin with both sides covered within hair etc. Then systematically withdraw her from powerthrough dig a big hole and remove the soil from that area. Cover the top of the hole with very thin sticks. Then cover these sticks with grass. Very carefully put her special chair (berchuma) on its. Then while trying to sit, she had fallen into the ditch (EBC, 2016 & FDG).
After the death of Akomenoye they abolished this meltu system. Then they created another system. They elected group of persons (Hayes) as legal advisors. One person as a top leader and this leading position is given to each gosa in turn. Change in administrative position of one gadaa and reflection of a leader takes place every eight years, i.e. the meltu system is replaced by the gadaa system. The Guji is divided into five bali (political parties): Muudanaa, Halchiisaa, dhallana, Harmuufa and Roobalee. Legal advisor or assistant (yaa’a) and a person that elected abba gadaa should have at least the following qualities: able bodied, strong physique, healthy and married if not he will be given a wife but no age specification. This person will get respect and whatever he says will get acceptance. These five parties lead the Guji people. Each bali stay for eight years, i.e. one bali comes to administration once every forty years. However, this period maybe shortened by misfortune that may occur during the administrative period of bali. This include war, draught, cattle disease, etc (Abeba, 1986, FDG & Waqo, 1998).
The gadaa or yaa’a meetings have its own ‘police’ known as jendeba. This person scatters through the attendants of the meeting. Even those who want to chew tobacco have to get permission from these persons. If anyone did it without their permission, they punish him by flogging. In addition, after the end of the meeting if they decide to punish someone, the punishment, usually flogging, will be undertaken immediately by the jendebas. While whipping if a person, on whom punishment is inflicted upon, climb up on the tree they say he goes to Waka (God). They will no more flog him. Of, also, he hides himself under the leg of the yaa’a the flogging will stop. If, after punishment, he continues making additional faults they say he destroyed our ada (custom). They ostracize him, they provide him no assistance, no one will burry his and his family deceased body, no one intermarry with him, etc. This made persons to refrain from committing any further mistakes. In this way, Guji maintain peace and order among their members (Abeba, 1986).
The jural laws of Guji have the concept of nagea (peace), as their ultimate concern. Congruent with this principle is the emphasis on restoring normal interaction between parties to adjudication. Restoration of property and corporal punishment are subservient to this principle, except when strangers are at odds. Those who act as judges, the jarsa biyya (old men of the country) gain their position and maintain it by their ability to settle disputes without laying the grounds for resentment and future disagreement.
- Gondoro ceremony of Resolving Conflict in West Guji
Traditional conflict resolution mechanism was held by preparing gondoro ceremony of bringing both communities altogether through chief of elders via slaughtering of cattle and reimbursing purloined cattle. There are two types of gondoro ceremony – intra-personal and inter-ethnic conflict resolution mechanisms. Guma is the gift for compensation to perform Gondoro. In this process, if Guji kill Guji the killer retreat and go to Yaa’a (collection of Gadaa). To make Gondoro, those Yaa’a take both parties to far places covered by bush in which no one come on it whether animals or others. Burn fire in the jungle and selected clan come to perform the process. Take off the killer cloth and stands him in his cloth beside fire. Pour the water from his head towards his whole body. Then slaughter sheep over his head and spill the blood in his body. Clean the blood from his body with traditional drink called boka, cut his fingernail and shaved hair. Excrete the old cloth that the killer stands on it. Then the victimized family comes and stands in their backs and hitch on cooked sheep bone. The killer call the name of deceased family three times, then refuse to say yes and finally on the fourth forward and the killer give him the thin bone by saying duubajei and he take by saying duubahinjiru that means no more animosity between us. Thus, conflicting parties stand together by tying their backs, which means lets this fight go away from us while we are the same blood and fleshes; and brothers now. Take away the curtain mid them, hug each other, and eat and drink together. That is for the same clan means, Guji to Guji.
When it is from different ethnic group they account weeks, both groups bring and slaughter sheep by saying we do not come to conflict again and smear its blood which means we are one. The inter-ethnic gondor, as well stated by Gololicha (2015), it is through breaking a bone of the sacrificial animal and the two parties each hold the end of the bone and the two Abba Gadaas break the bone by the blunt edge of the knife. Bone breaking symbolizes removing the hostility between the groups. The next step is eating and drinking together, which represents the reconciliation and restoration of the peace and harmony, finally Abba Gadaa concludes the ceremony by blessing the peace to be durable at the same time cursing any attempt of revenge.
220.127.116.11. Indigenous resolution of Guji-Borana Oromo Conflicts
Guji-Arsi-Borana divided and became enemies (siddi saden) under Doyo Boro of 18th Borana Abba Gadaa. They live peacefully before. Then start killing each other for honoring and robbing cattle. This decreased through government sanction and mainly after 1961 religion diversification, that killing for honor decreased. Now it is killing for land. The two parties in conflict have long been known for their preservation of many traditions and cultures, of which the traditional conflict management is the prominent. Both Guji and Borana are known for the intact Gadaa system they preserved over long years, which is an institution whose function ranges from ritual purpose to governance and conflict management. Gadaa is a well-known institution of governance and conflict resolution. In an attempt to manage the conflict between the two groups, Abba Gadaas, Abbaa seeraas (of the Gadaa system), the Qalus and other local elders who have influential positions in the Gadaa system have made various efforts. These traditional leaders influenced peoples from their respective sides to come together to discuss and arrive at agreement on what to be done. Abba Gadaas and other traditional leaders repeatedly met to facilitate discussions between the peoples.
Historically Guji-Borana killed each other for honoring as well as took their livestock. Then remain far to each other and in time of drought and hungriness come for resolution through traditional mechanisms. One of the group sent liche (conciliator) who is the messenger of peace by horse and told as came for peace. That was before the legal administration. No one kill person with Liche. Lamb and lichee are the symbols of peace that opponent ethnic group by elders from any conflicting ethnic groups as well mentioned by Gololcha (2015) and FDG. Community elders and leaders from any conflicting send delegations to the other ethnic leaders, particularly Gadaa assemble and other Gadaa officials (hayyuu) to arrange day and place for negotiation and compromises. Most of time liche send while both groups are exhaustively tired of fighting, loss of properties and mass destruction of life. After that onwards keep peace and they move together with their livestock until conflict erupt again. When Haile Selassie come to power, amassed their military equipments and the people starts fought in traditional equipments. Gradually, killing of individuals diminishes. On recent time, there are conditions of killing someone from one of the members secretly, which unable to figure out the causes and killer in resolution process that leads to hostility among one another.
Both branches of Oromo- Borana and Guji, exercise the same Gadaa and practice gondoro. Both groups have an agreement of assessing murder and hand over to legal body through forming a committee of ten individuals in collecting the leaders of elders, and discuss how to manage and resolve conflicts. They have an agreement of putting guma (compensation).If a person rob one cattle then return the cattle via repaying again five cattle and the number of cattle increase per robbed number. If somebody endeavor to kill by equipments, should pay 15 cattle and if murder, then should pay 30 cattle and seized to jail. That is how traditional and legal system operates collaboratively to prevent conflicts. Elders perform intra-personal conflict resolution through sending traditionally reputable persons with having respected cultural bokku (rod) on their shoulder and conciliate antagonistic party that conflicting parties feel shame and fear while saw them. People trust and adheres the traditional leaders more than the government officials. For instance, in the upheaval among most of Oromia areas aftermath of incident in Erecha holiday, the Borana Oromo elders ban their youths from violence and no one revolt. Hence, should strength the capacity of elders and joint committee.
The cultures bound by oath that people fear and respect. The traditional mechanisms appraise underlying factors of violence and conciliate both groups. Thus, facilitate for building sustainable peace as currently Borana dwell in Guji land unlike in the past time. Sometimes officials reconcile for the sake of practicing conflict resolution process than assessing the violence in detail and arrange for sustainable peace, which keep the probability of recurrence of violence. The same is true in Guji-Burji conflict resolution that officials done roughly through soothing the violence by military force and form demarcation in devoid of people participation and discussion. The demarcation is not in mutual assent thus violence persistently practiced. There is lack of define settlement in the underlying causes of violence.
- Guji-Burji Traditional Conflict resolving Mechanism
In history, Guji and Burji did not waged war at large scale rather they kill each other at any occasion they found. For the most part, practice in equivalent number of fighters from both sides meaning one to one or one to collective slay. The tradition entails purification, reconciliation, and condemnation of future conflict/war. The Guji and Burji communities also have similar outlooks on the tradition mechanism. Guji and Burji have independent mechanisms of independent conflict resolution mechanisms such as gondoro and wodo respectively. The gondoro tradition is a mechanism of conflict resolution through a ritual procession between victims and perpetrators. Asebe (2012) point out, elders bring both parties for reconciliation in through mechanism. For reconciliation purpose, both sides brought sacrificial animals (old cows from Guji and sheep from Burji) for the ritual. The tradition involved aspects of purification and reconciliation, where perpetrators would be purified of their wrongdoings by washing their hands with blood and reconciling with the victims. Likewise, the wodo practice was a peaceful exchange of booty (captive men or livestock). If a person fell into the hands of the other group, elders from both sides would negotiate the terms of exchange. For the wodo practice, the Burji used to supply the Guji with handmade clothes, while the latter provided cattle in exchange for their captives. Asebe (2010) present, the wodo tradition entirely perished, while the gondoro tradition is on the verge of extinction because the values given to these traditions have been denigrated by the introduction of modern education, urban life, and Protestantism.
Elders in each level of districts and localities carry out conflict resolution mechanisms according to the case. More than government, it is for elder’s gives priority for the reason that people obey them. Modern administrative like localities and districts decrease the effectiveness of indigenous mechanisms. The government does not strength the indigenous mechanisms. There is a combination of legal and traditional mechanisms though it is fragile. Those elements diminished through different factors such as diversification of legal administration, modern education, religion and urbanization. Besides, it is weakening due to lack of capacity strengthening and overlooked by government. The weakness of governmental resolution, is merely slumped the violence in putting perpetrators to detention via disregarding conveying sustainable peace by addressing the root cause of conflict that leads the argument to aggravate recurrently. The indigenous mechanisms weaken while the government policies contradict with the interests of the people.
However, the value attached to the tradition gradually decreased since the conquest, and it is currently on the verge of extinction. Although the current political arrangement under ethnic federalism encourages the revival of such traditions, which Asebe (2012), described as a re-traditionalisation process, the legitimacy and capacity of traditional institutions in handling inter-group conflicts are declining because of the following factors:
1) The legitimacy of traditional leaders and institutions has been degraded due to changes in the value system through modern education and religion, specifically Protestantism.
2) Ethnic politics hardens group boundaries and thus reduces cross-boundary negotiation opportunities
3) Traditional leaders are in most cases co-opted by the political elites and serve their political interests rather than genuinely representing their societies; and the continuation of a top-down approach of conflict resolution mechanism.
3.5. The Relation between Government and Traditional Institutions
The mixture of modern and traditional mechanisms of conflict resolution is that first, the government force stops the conflict by military intervention. Then give the chance for elders to discuss together and reach on common agreement. Traditional mechanism of conflict resolution is more effective than legal mechanism in building sustainable peace. On the resolution process when the conflict start it is the government force that calm down the conflict then the elders resolve them and bring sustainable peace. Government institutions facilitated discussions and organized conferences whereas the traditional institutions, particularly the Gadaa leaders, worked on convincing the people to be ready to accept the resolutions to be made. In this regard, each of them brought what the other could not.
Afarsata (awuchachign) is a ceremony that seats together and discuss from both groups through bringing the felon and punish in their rule and forward to the government body according to the case. The legal and traditional mechanisms work altogether through governmental support and approval of some essential cultural values, outstandingly related with conflict resolution mechanisms. The joint committee formed from the collection of Abba Gadaa members, prominent persons and security officials for resolution and prevention of conflicts. Any crime first reported for them and subsequent to mutually determined sanctions, forward to legal body. No one even shouts and go to revenge as earlier for any victim rather instantly announce for the committee and carries the malefactor to them including with the equipments hold in his hand. It is the concern of committee to decide whether take to prison or leave by sanction only. Individuals will not go to reprisal, once pleased with the recompense and retribution of felon. One of fundamental objective of this committee is to strength this culture and transmits to generation.
Such traditional mechanism of resolving conflict is more sustainable and last long to build peace than modern mechanism. In this regard, Gololich (2015:54) illustrate how the historical enmity of hostile relation among Guji and Arsi resolved for one and all. Traditional method used among the Guji, the Borana, and the Arsi during 1988 totally managed intra-ethnic conflicts between the Guji and Arsi and further avoided conflicts from the group. This event was created for peace restoration and social harmonization among the Guji, the Borena and the Arsi at the place called Qarsa Bilbilo, which is currently the capital town of Guji zone (Nagelle). The event was initiated by former administrator called Godana Tuni because there socio-political instability in the area due to regular ambush killing started from a time sidii sadiim (three enemies) among them. He called elders from all groups to make a peace by avoiding the concept of enmity among them and collaboration with ethnic groups in the zone… At the end of these big peace ritual event, all participant elders from different ethnic groups decided to change Qarsa Bilbilo to Nagelle, by wishing peace among themselves and they prayed by saying “Waaqa guddaa at nageya nuu buusi” meaning (Almighty God settle peace among us). Praying was successful for two groups the Guji, and the Arsi, and it is unfortunate the Guji and the Borana are still fighting due to deep-rooted concepts of sidii (enemy), grievance created between them during divide and rule political systems.
The problem is government institutions tend to dominate the traditional institutions, and the role of the traditional leaders in the conflict management has become marginalizing. Elders do not have role in political, legal and other sensitive issues as previous. They are merely having ritual and symbolic significance. The traditional leaders are simply struggling to survive, and are highly guided by the prescriptions from government officials. This action affects the elements of indigenous elements as well creates mistress among the people. Furthermore, Woyisa (2011) argued the traditional conflict resolution mechanism is becoming weak due to different pressures like modern state administration and appointment and the denial of recognition of traditional leadership, customary laws and conflict resolution mechanisms, i.e. Woreda and Zonal administrators have little knowledge and respect for the already existing traditional mechanism and leaders. Hence, it is only the government, which is trying to resolve conflicts between communities. Therefore, the local leadership, traditional authority and regulations compete with governments’ structures, rules and regulations. Or else, there is a loose collaboration, if any, between customary institutions and the government in dealing with conflict resolution between individuals and communities. The government fails to appreciate, collaborate and complement the traditional methods of resolving conflicts. This is the reason for the aggravations of conflicts recurrently that deter the sustainability of peace. In the modern mechanisms, the officials have little knowledge and respect for the local people, their traditional leaders and institutions. The historical and cultural root of the traditional mechanism of resolving conflict is stronger and effective than modern mechanism to build sustainable peace.
Emerging Conflicts and the Quest for Sustainable Peace Building
4.1. Recent Conflict in the Quest for New Second Guji (West) Zone
Since Ethiopia incorporates under central power of Menelik II, Guji merged with Borana province and zone in successive regimes. During Derg regime, Guji were live in the central and southern part of Sidamo administrative region, particularly in Jemjem awraja and Northern part of Arero awraja – Hagere Mariam (now Bule Hora) woreda and in Borana awraja – Liben woreda (Taddassa 1983 & Tedecha, 1988). Both Guji zone were under the administration of Borana zone by calling with Borana name in the current regime as well. Since from Oromia divided in to zone, Guji comprised under Borana zone. After EPRDF, Guji got independent zone in 2003. The first Guji zone took Negelle town as its capital, while the remaining portion of the old zone including the current West Guji, besides retaining the old name Borana, also made the town of Yabello its new capital. In fact, the division of the old zone was the result of administrative considerations than the need to follow a kinship structure (Berhanu, 2012).
Bit by bit Oromiya Regional Government divided into three zones: Borana zone, Guji zone and West Guji zone. The division of first Guji zone was made following the Dawa River as border for the two groups. To the East are the Borana, while to the West the Guji. This demarcation frustrated both groups. In the partition, Borana and Guji were subdivided into fourteen and fifteen districts respectively. Among the former Borana zone, five districts (Abaya, Galana, Bule-Hora, Dugda Dawa and Malka-Soda) entirely inhabited and settled by Guji, whereas one of Guji districts Liban inhabited by Borana Oromo. Such governance arrangements collides the two Oromo groups and deepen animosity amid them (Berhanu, 2012). Both groups had different perceptions and oversight each other. The Borana prominent historian who got doctorate from Bule Hora University Dr. Borbor Bule reveals, People surprised and confused on how and why government dispose Guji inhabitants of the current West Guji put under former Borana zone and Borana inhabited lands of Liben under Guji zone. On the time being, societies accentuate strategically planned action of government instead of blaming the community.
The separation of first Guji zone from Borana zone was based on physical features, principally convenience and proximity to the two main roads crossing territories inhabited by the two groups, rather than their local identities and settlement pattern. The partition of zone brought tension between the two groups. The geographical demarcation was not satisfied both groups. Borana frustrated on loosing of some ritual sites in that aspired to own back Negelle with its former name Negelle Borana and their ritual sites of Liban. Whereas Guji frustrated in demarcation settlement since large number of Guji community (more than half population with their resources) and more than five districts was left with Borana zone administration. Those five districts were Galana, Abaya, Bule Hora, Dugda-Dawwa and Malka-Soda. Out of 962, 489 (CSA) total population of Borana zone Guji populations were more than 600,000. It is this discontent broke out 2006 Guji-Borana conflicts.
Initially, one Guji person raised the issue of getting another second Guji zone on an event of mass gathering in Bule Hora, including Abba Duula the former president of the Oromia regional state, regional and both Guji and Borana zonal higher officials, thousands of the Guji elites and some Borana elders. Abba Duula and other regional officials positively accepted the requested question. The decision were disappointed Borana because the Guji are now to have two zone. The question rose in terms of distances of some districts from both zonal capital towns (Yabello and Nagelle), lack of good governance and domination and discrimination from Borana zone political leaders were the immediate demand for the second Guji zone with its capital to be at Bule Hora town.
All informants repeatedly assert that the formal traditional and cultural factors of killing for acquiring social recognition of prestige and honor are no longer cause of the two groups. Nevertheless, it kept sentiments of grudges and animosity among one another. Political entrepreneurs recurrently manipulated this animosity. Accordingly, officials of Borana zone were tried to stop the movement towards a new zone through mobilizing Borana people by agitating, as they are to lose their land to the Guji. Some informants from West Guji officials articulate the frustration of former Borana officials to allow new Guji zone was due to the five districts endows with rich resources and the division would take away the benefit from these resources. Another impression was if Guji acquire two zones then Guji would be dominant over Borana. Since Borana deeply frustrate on the land (Liban and Negelle) that taken under Guji zone.
In this regard, the then administrators of the zone are said to have armed the Borana to defend themselves from the alleged possible attack of the Guji. The officials convince the people through misgiving as Guji claim including nine kebeles of Borana that inhabited by Guji pastoralists. These nine localities are beyond West Guji-Borana demarcation at Kilkil River however, that was not the objective of the Guji. Since Borana regret for the land that lost up to Bule Hora in earliest conflicts with Guji that can political entrepreneurs successfully manipulate their ethnic group and agitate to conflicts. Boranas known historian elder divulges, the aggression of Borana community was primarily for those nine kebeles. This mobilization results in the conflict of both groups at Surupha district of Borana zone. According to Gololicha (2015), war declared through nine directions at the same time to Guji community inhabited neighboring areas from West Biyo Kundhi kebele in Dugda Dawa woreda of current West Guji zone to East Madar kebele in Arero woreda of Borana districts respectively. The conflict was the most violent and worst of all in their history in terms of its magnitude, many died from Borana but few from Guji.
The quests for separation of west Guji zone from Borana were in terms of three main factors:
Identity question is one of the pioneer and contending issues for West Guji to separate from Borana zone and to own their independent new zone. Guji consider as historically dominated by Borana. All most all informants agree on their frustration against calling under the name of Borana. They say ‘Borana wants to hide our names and culture as well as ruling by repressing’. Gololicha (2015:53-54) quote the speech of Abba gadaa Aga Xanxano of the Guji in forwarding request for the first Guji zone “Maqaa kiyya naaf kennaa’. That means, “Give me my name”. This was to mention, their land, resource, products and culture should called by Guji name. Although both groups are from the same Oromo branch, they have some different cultures. This also coincides with the perception of Borana informants, which even do not want to call their culture together with Guji due to cultural differences. Research fieldwork shows, some taboo or sensitive elements of Borana cultural entity became simple for Guji the inverse is true for respective group as well. Moreover, it is not the intent of Borana community to merge with Guji since there is no Borana deweller in West Guji.
The informants of West Guji elucidate their frustration on Borana was due to their history and identity concealed by them. Guji frustrated in dominating and marginalizing of their names and cultures under Borana, thus perceived as their identity overlooked. The quest of identity was underlying causes of West Guji hostility with Borana. The history and identity of Guji wrote under Borana name that blocked having independent written records before. The Guji were unknown and the Borana known, which bring controversies amid one another. Then these accumulations led to the question of identity; in claiming as have big population, different identity of culture, immense resources but undermined and marginalized under Borana. Especially in the media when they saw the culture of others then start asking where is mine, why others marginalize my identity.
Calling of Guji resources and products were the predominant factor of aggravating aggression amongst the group. In this regard, contentious issue during West Guji under Borana zone was self-administration of resources in connection with naming of resource, conspicuously coffee. The Guji were anger because the Borana do not have coffee resources, however the coffee of Guji known in the international market by Borana name. People aggressed when they heard in media ‘Borana buna’.
Maladministration was the bold issue during West Guji administration under Borana zone of Oromia region in southern Ethiopia. This was also one of the leading factors for first Guji zone separation from Borana zone. Lack of good governance was the recurrent causes of violence in the area. There was discrepancy of fair power allotment. Almost all informants of Guji asserted that there was power accumulation in the hands of Borana elites. This is parallel with lack of job opportunities. Many young and adult informant expound, there is no right person in the right position. Most of the officials in the administration position are without competent of adequate educational background and administrative capacity. Though this problem continues after the formation of the new zone as well, earlier it was worst. My research field experience reveals one of the reason for upheaval in West Guji zone in correspondence with overall Oromia revolt in the aftermath of Irrecha ceremony (October 2, 2016) in Ethiopia was chiefly due to lack of good governance. People destruct governmental and individual properties by targeting corrupters and mal administrators. As well, the attack also focused on those who were in resist to preclude the formation of new zone of West Guji.
Distance was one of triggering factor of claiming independent second zone. In the eve of 2005 Ethiopian election, starts to raise the issue of getting second zone of Guji in correspondence with distance of Negelle as well as Yabello for peripheral areas from central and adjacent areas. Guji communities from far area of both capitals were frustrated. For instance, Galana and Abaya are near to Dilla (Gedio zone) and very far from capital town of zone which obstacle them to access good governance and get enough social services which provided by local government. Subsequently, informant of West Guji security official point out, the distance of Hambala wamana from Negelle is 406 kilometer. If anybody has case to take it to zone, it took three four days to reach there since there is no direct public transportation.
4.1.2. The setback of second zonal question of West Guji for thirteen years
The question delayed for 13 years due to several reasons such as repression of the question by political elites of Borana who were in the power in the then Borana zone of West Guji zone now. West Guji zone officials interviewee clarify the adjournment of zone question for 13 years is due to priority of governmental agenda on expanding infrastructure like schools, health center, electricity and so on. The responses of higher officials were, ‘currently the government policy is not providing and diversifying kebeles, woredas and zones rather the priority is for growth and development’. Auspiciously, it becomes dual advantage while achieve zone in addition to expansion of infrastructure such as college, university and various facilitations that were given as a substitution of zonal question.
In the commencement, as young Guji informants elucidate, the question was suppressed by Borana and diverted via saying it is the question of opposition party such as ABAO/OLF (Oromia Liberation Front). Even though zone officials prohibit raising such question, people did not refrain from asking. Later on officials launch pledging to carry out after election and when people expect then they give some other compensation. The question had postponed by providing various infrastructures such as hospital, Teaching College, university and the like. Often question was overlook in this manner. This persistently put people in frustration and was a ground for intensification of violence conflict in the zone.
One week before recognition of West Guji zone, people from different corner of town and villages, come altogether and made massive demonstration in Bule Hora city including using motorcycles. Immediately higher government officials came and approved the second new Guji zone called West Guji zone in 2016 as promised in 2015 election. The justification of higher officials for delaying the question, “We did not understand your question in this way”. This shows as how governmental bodies are far from people, if 13 years question could not transmit properly. Moreover, since from the beginning, the people forward the question directly to higher officials in public conference of 2006 at Bule Hora city. Additionally, selected elders and influential community members went up to federal office to raise the issue. Even when University had given to Bule Hora, it was as recompense for zone question. Informants mention the speech of Abba Duula says ‘leave the question of zone since both of you are from the same Oromo branches and you are brothers’. Government may have plan and strategy for act upon any decision. However, it should convinces people with appropriate and enough responses. Thus, can prevent the outbreak of conflicts and transform to sustainable peace. The suppression of question in various mechanisms leads to terrible conflicts after the accumulation reaches its climax.
One of government computation of merging Guji under Borana zone is to strength the power of Borana in fighting with region five (Somalia) according to intellectual views of Guji. While Somalia pushed via weakening and crouching Borana thus give Negelle for Guji to defend and deter. That is also the reason for setback of zone question by advocating both are brothers with the same Oromo groups. While the quests keep intensifying, then the government promised to build university and instruct to forget about zone. However, the questions persist after acquired university also that forced the government to allow second Guji zone.
On the moment this question was manipulated by Borana elites and leads to conflicts in 2006 by stirring up Borana community in translating as Guji is claiming to take their lands of nine locality existed under Yabelo and Arero districts of Borana zone that inhabited by Guji. The conflict was in ruling period of Abba Gadaa Agaa tenteno of Guji and Liben Jaldesa of Borana. Those leaders interviewee disclose 2006 causes of Guji-Borana conflict was in political exploitation through disseminating misinformation to the people. While claiming for second Guji zone rose at a big assembly in the presence of higher officials including Abba Dula Gamada that the officials of former Borena zone promulgated to the community as the Guji alleged to zone by incorporating Borana land. The elites aggravated societies to violent conflict through proclaiming nine localities of Borana that inhabited by Guji such as galaba, Hirmaye, Madar, Halu, Hulawayu, Surpha, Obolo, Bildid and Didil are going away by Guji.
During conflict resolution moment both groups elucidates as had misapprehension by provokers, Borana misperceived as their land going to be taken and Guji asserted as claim for their own second zone in the persistence of former border at Kilkile river that drawn since Haile Selassei period. Hence, both communities confide in misinformation conveyed by administrative elite leads to conflict and decided to continue in the former demarcation of Kilkille River, which also approved in West Guji zone split from Borana zone in 2016. In separation process Guji assured as will not claim for those nine kebeles of their inhabitants administer under Borana zone since both groups are brothers from same ancestor and Oromo branch. Nevertheless, if the claim was from Guji inhabitants then definitely the conflict was rose. That means if Guji claim the nine villages also then Borana declar war. Since, both groups experienced about the sensitivity of that issue in 2006 conflicts and resolution ceremony. While higher officials call elders and elites of selected individuals from both groups to Ziway and asks their intentions in meetings at 2015. Then both groups asserts as they have already fixed border at Kilkile River since Haile Selassei regime. It is in these arrangements that the separation of the two zones were peaceful. However, it is the potential area of conflict.
Borana are displeased while Guji obtain two zones and they claim for return back of former Negelle Borana for them. Besides, during Borana and West Guji were under single zone, different development and growth had given as one zone, which concentrate in West Guji districts. Nonetheless, after splitting in two independent zones Borana becomes bare in infrastructure for the reason that every development left with West Guji zone. The split of West Guji from Borana were not displeased Borana people rather their political elites. Instead, communities of Borana claim for returning of Negelle, principally the former name- Negelle Borana. yet there is an intention of claiming in the mind of some Guji societies about nine kebeles of Guji inhabitants as my interviewee of security officials elucidates since people raised the issue in meetings via saying ‘you came by leaving those nine kebeles’.
The recognition of new West Guji zone resolved recurrent hostility of the two groups that enables them to shares adjoining resources of water and grazing. Currently West Guji and Borana live peacefully, unless instigation of alleged for those nine localities. Pastoralists of both groups occupied and deployed cattle in one another land. For instance, in 2016 drought Borana drive their cattle up to Melka Soda district of West Guji zone. The lowlands in the western banks of Dawa River are endows with rich pastures that support a large number of Guji herds. Sometimes conflicts on grazing land and water occurs. Moreover, nine kebeles of Guji inhabitants under Borana zone that did not claim during separation of zone would be a potential area of conflict in the future. Therefore, there should follow preventive mechanisms of avoiding any discrimination amongst both pastoralist groups.
The divisions of zone were peaceful due to agreement on the existed demarcation of Kilkile. If Guji claim land from their occupants, then the conflict would be launch. During split of east Guji from Borana also, agreed to leave the then West Guji zone with Borana and later on commenced the question for independent new zone due to lack of good governance. The same will happen with the rest nine kebeles unless continual assessment and prevention of conflicts adopted. The nine kebeles are potential areas of controversies in the future, essentially if any discrimination occurs in power sharing and service distribution including NGOs since both groups are pastoralists.
Accordingly, pastoralists are vulnerable for conflicts in natural factors (drought, water, grazing land, climate enmity, and resources competition) and human made and political manipulation. Consequently, rather than fixing border, there should be fulfillment of facilities. For instance, FDG from both groups of West Guji (Dugda Dawa) and Borana (Alona) mention the horrible draught in this 2016/2017 in both zone. Since both groups solely dependent on natural rainfall and grazing grass, due to shortage of water many of their cattle died. The Borana elders reflect how much they are affecting in one side by draught and on the other side conflict with Somali. In the same vein, Guji elders reveal the deep implication of drought on killing their cattle. Even to the extent of killing wild animals, this year draught was unique. My research fieldwork experience also shows as how much drought is terrible. Many cattle died on the street. The river got dry and no grass. Cattle market was very much cheap because if they take it back to their home then the cattle will die. Moreover, Guji pastoralist discussants magnify in the former any service related with pastoralist came under the umbrella of Borana zone. However, after the separation every aid for pastoralists goes directly to Borana. Since this zone is new, there are lot to do in terms of diversification of services and infrastructure. There should built and expand NGOs for resisting drought and recover.
4.2. Turmoil in Okote mining site of West Guji zone
One of gigantic phenomena of emerging conflict in West Guji is the issue of mining. The area of Guji endorsed with rich mineral resources. Both metallic and non-metallic minerals are exists such as gold, tantalum, barayit, nickel, copper, asbestos, kaolin, dolomite, iron, quartz, ceramic and uranium. Among these minerals, however, gold has long been a widely known and a highly exploited mineral in the region. This precious metal is found in large deposits near and around the towns of Shakiso and Adola in Shakiso districts of Guji zone. The exploitation of several other minerals has also been undertaken very recently. One of such minerals is called tantalum. The modern industry of tantalum processing is now functioning at a place called Bomba Wuha, a village between the towns of Irba-Muda in the north and Adola, alias Kibramangist, in the south. The quality of these minerals reputed to rank among the leading sources of foreign currency to the country. Several other minerals whose extractions have already been undertaken include kaolin, which serves as a raw material for aluminum and ceramic industries; and ceramic mineral, whose industry is now functioning nearby the tantalum extracting industry (Berhanu, 2012).
Two of the major mines of Ethiopia are located in Odo Shakiso: the Lega Dembi gold and the Kenticha tantalum mines, both near Shakiso. Gold has also been extracted by placer mining from the Awata River, which flows between Shakiso and Megado. A hydro-electric power station over the Mormora River was inaugurated by Emperor Haile Selassie in March 1965. Gold mining continues to be an important industry in this woreda, with the announcement 24 November 2009, that MIDROC Gold signed a 10-year agreement with the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy, for the extraction of almost 20.5 metric tons of gold from the Sakaro fields, three kilometers from the existing Lega Dembi mines. Between 1998 and 2008 MIDROC extracted 34 metric tons from the Lega Dembi mines, earning 466 million dollars; the new mine at Sakara is expected to bring a revenue of 564 million dollars, of which 130 million will go to the government as taxes and royalties.
Okote is a recently discovered areas of mining despite the fact that indigenous community utilizes traditionally as daily means of income. Okote is located under West Guji zone of Melka soda woreda halo meleda kebele of Ebicha hill. It is about 86 km from Bule hora of West Guji administrative town. It is desert area. Scientifically start exploration gold around 2015. The local community presupposed as their resources. The rationalization of upheaval is since Midrock could not bring any fruitful growth for society in Guji zone. There are adverse consequences in Shakiso hence suspect that there might be going similar effects in Okote as well. The grievances of Shakiso community in lack of fulfillments of their requests such as construction of schools, pure water, roads and health service resulted for denial of extracting gold in Okote by investors. Youths destroy by fire heavy machinery and excavator that used for explorations and investigations. The inhabitants of the area scared the same effects of Shakiso will come in which the rivers polluted by chemicals released from industry and kill their cattle.
The people also anger via mentioning Medrock exploit ‘our precious resources and invest exclusively to other places such as constructing buildings and stadiums, which never invest anything here’. One moment when student turmoil with local people Medrock built one water pump that damaged after one year. On the other time built one college. Scholarly discussants who did mini study in Shakiso mine revealed, the interviewees of Medrock officials verify as never stave off constitutionally stated percent of share for the government though it is not our task to assess their system of distribution.
Discussants explicated the Guji land is fruitful lands of resources including mining, water, milk, honey, stone, soil, forest, coffee and so on. Nonetheless, the indigenous people could not benefit. The discussant expound as the government did not aware and convince them satisfactorily while exploit any natural resources. For instance, there is dense forest and when a local community use on it as a source of livelihood income through selling wood for fire by collecting from the ground, officials arrested them. Even local peoples are doubt whether it is the governmental body or others who is exploiting their resources. They exemplified, anyone come and transport with heavy vehicles via saying am from government officials. The same is true for mining also, which exploit gold from Shakiso for the last 25 years. From the instigation, compensated insufficiently and unfittingly displaced dwellers. Another problem, the indigenous peoples remain with the adverse effects of chemical pollution released from industry that consequences miscarry of mothers, dying of cattle and sickness of children. Moreover, it did not guaranteed at least constitutionally stated percent of share for the inhabitants of the city and officials of Abba gadaas.
This memorial grievance results for upheaval of refuting even for scientifically investigation of mining in Okote area of West Guji zone. Student demonstrated on the street in different parts of West Guji zone in the slogan of “Okoten hamballa Gujiiti” which has the message of ‘you already exploit as soon as you can and leave the rest for us, Okote is the heritage of Guji. Nevertheless, Medrok is working in Guji of Oromia region its connection is with federal office in absence of even tribute to district, zone or region. It is secured by electric fence and federal police so that no one near to it. Since gold is a nonrenewable resource, intend to save Okote for next generation. In this frustration that people destroyed by fire heavy machineries and excavator of the company at Okote in the aftermath of Irecha ritual holiday of Oromia in 2016. Even in the revolution process all society keep silent and look by standing in the street, no one say do not do this that show it was the resentment of majority people in the area.
People give the impression of Okote minerals as inheritance for descendants in contrary to government stance of development via full utilization of existing resource. Discussants of focus group discussion stressed as unless government secures their avails never let investors to extract gold from Okote. Such avails are recompensing displaced residents sufficiently since it is an exclusive source of their livelihood. Moreover, the community request infrastructures such as road, clean water, schools, health center, charities for orphan and old people. It should facilitate job opportunities for literate as well as illiterate local youths particularly for the areas of Arero, Gari boru, dawa and the like.
Elders illustrate as “during our adolescence, traditionally in Shakiso area we dig out mining and sold via hauling to Kenya. Afterward, one white man came by air and made investigation in mining under river. Instantaneously, government officials dislocate and keep away us from the area in military force devoid of reimbursement. Now we will not allow the same thing again. If the request of inhabitants realized then can guaranteed peace”.
The enlightenment for refusal of Okote gold exploitation is already lost Shakiso inadvertently that we will not recur blunder and our children is educated, which awake us and look after manipulation. Repetitively students demonstrated though avert the question by providing insufficient response as interviewee of one of demonstrator of 2010 when he was grade 12. Gradually form timir (collective) committee from various community elders and leaders and discuss with the government officials (regional and federal) discuss to investigate about the issue. Then pledge to build school. On the other time, build college in Legadanbi of Shakiso. People in the mining industry of Shakiso area aggressed in nonattendance of native staff through importing labors only from other places via disregarding indigenous. The extracted place form ditch filled with chemically polluted water of industry. As a result, repudiate recent investigation in Okote.
My key informant brief as any investor can extract the mining though the problem is the adverse effects of toxic acid released to water that result in killing of cattle. There should be reimbursement for the expense of died cattle and sickened inhabitants. The consequences of Shakiso frustration lead to Okote aggression since from exploration and investigation of mining resources in the area. The manifestation of residents became ‘for which of your favor offer for our affiliation in Shakiso that will we welcomed you’. The government first should guarantee the good deeds that will dwellers acquired and then investors could run their business. They burn infant industry of okote by saying ‘we never see anything Medrock did for Woysha site of Shakiso and what did they do for them and now they come here’. The area is not suitable for cultivation and animal husbandry; it is dry land so it is not convenient for coffee or any other activity as the rest part of West Guji. People around the area lead their life by extracting traditionally and sell it via taking to Kenya. Therefore, there should be appropriate compensation for displaced community.
4.3. Ethnic Federalism and Resource competition between West Guji and Burji
The 1991 new political arrangements of ethnic based federalism reform the arguments to resources, chiefly land and water competition. The conflict of 2008 was the manifestation of this. Ethnic based federalism implicated aspects of ownership, access rights, and issues of inclusion and exclusion impacts on current interaction of west Guji with Burji. During the Derg regime, the Burji administration stretched up to seven kebeles of current West Guji. After the introduction of ethnic federalism, the Guji incorporated under region 4 of Oromia and the Burji under regional 8 of SNNPRS. These put the previous Burji administrative provinces of seven Guji kebeles under former Borana zone of Oromia national regional state. This arrangement shrunk Burji administrative to Burji special districts. Population increment of the Burji shrunk the land for their agriculture, which the Guji preserve for pasture and water of livestock. The divergence interests over scarce resource impact on the prospects of current as well as future interaction – land degradation results from population pressure of Burji and exhaustion in pasture land of Guji is a sensitive issue for both groups. This is an indication for escalation of 2008 conflicts to war that halted by the force of federal police. The Guji are agreed and accept the demarcation by federal government with Burji though their lands amputate and given to Burji, “we obedience for governmental rules if it convinces us”. The elders and youths of Guji asserts, as they will not tolerate with any kind of slice off land. They deter pushing and farming pressure of Burji’s due to their fast expansion by crossing the fixed demarcation of federal government.
They have incompatible goals in the purpose of land, which Asebe & et al (2010) called ownership and utilization. The former explain the pastoralist group of the Guji community where as the letter interlink with agriculturalists of Burji. The Burji pursuits land should be cultivated for crops and any land free from man considered as idle that believed as effective utilization of land, in contrast the pastoralist member of Guji keep the land free for half or whole year for the purpose of utilizing grazing and water for cattle in their seasonal migration. Consequently, repudiates the word idle rather they consider as effective managements of land. The two groups advance contrasting alleged on the bare lands of Dolcha valley and drainage of Lula River that is adjoining of them which used for animal husbandry (grazing and water) for Guji and crop production for Burji, especially for the cultivation of cereal product of known Burji teff.
The economic engagement of both groups on the Dolcha Valley and the small water stream, the Lula River, adjoining the two groups, become sites of contention frequently dragging them to conflict. Members of both groups advance contrasting claims on the valley and the drainage of the river. Asebe (2012) elaborate further by picking out differences in their livelihood patterns created differences in their definition of resource utilisation. Agriculturalist communities of Burji suppose effective utilization of resources through crop cultivation on each portion of conducive land. In this context, a particular parcel of land would be considered idle if not tilled for agricultural purposes. Inversely, pastoral communities of Guji suppose effective utilisation of resources through proper managements of pasture and water areas for their cattle on preserving for drought time.
The Guji discussants (FDG in Dugda Dawa, December 2016) in focus group point up the conflict between Guji and Burji was due to vengeances. They depict, Guji are willing to welcomed Burji’s to work on their lands as any of ethnic groups who are living in their lands. The dilemma is a suspicion of incorporation their lands through referendum. Since Burji are strong agriculturalists, it pulls them for claiming of ownership of land after advance through farming, particularly in front line. Guji justifies this via mentioning Burji live in the urban area of Guji zone as any of other ethnic groups, especially in Bule Hora woreda (administrative city of West Guji zone), by engaging in several careers such as agriculture, business, in small, medium and large commercial activities. Though Burji explain, as they need land only for work, the Guji says they need the land to start resistance for claiming ownership issue. The impression of referendum seizes suspicion among one another while profound diversification of cultivation possibly will assert for taking the ownership of land, predominantly in rural areas of front line. This apprehension is diminutive in urban areas, as an indication for instance, the Burji farm on Bule Hora areas of Guji land peacefully.
The conflicts of Guji-Burji in 2008 initially started in quarrels among individuals when a few Burji farmers were found preparing farmland within the contested border area. Initially, Guji were killed Burji peasant while he is farming by encroaching to Guji. Burji believe on consuming each portion of land through cultivation by deforesting any jungle. The argument modified to ethnic dimension after lives from both sides were lost. Unlike in the past when elders were able to easily intervene and resolve conflicts, the recent conflict escalated into large-scale warfare and claimed the lives of hundreds of people from both sides. The initial instigation of the conflict was contested among the groups on competition over farmland, pastureland and water on claiming over the Dolcha Valley and the Lula River. This was the trigger causes for the eruption of conflict in 2008, which calm down by the intervention of federal police force and resolve the conflict through drawing temporary demarcation between both groups of region 4 and region 8. This demarcation could not bring long lasting sustainable peace, still it is the bases of quarrel in waiting each other whether one of them cross the demarcation or not. The Guji look after their resources carefully. The Burji present as they face a big shortage of land for farming and grazing for their cattle thus keep cultivation via crossing the border that aggress Guji. The justification of Burji ‘why we keep hungry by looking this free land in front of us’, which Guji validate as preserve it for drought time until grazing grass fully grown for their livestock.
Asebe (2012) stipulate, Even though border demarcations were drawn through the involvement of the federal and regional states, the Burji at the beginning strongly resisted the demarcations with the presumption that it would deter their expansion to the areas they claim as ‘No Man’s Land’. Whereas Guji narrate, historically attachments of Dolcha valley where their man named Dolcha dug a well long ago. Therefore, abandoning this valley and its water sources is seen as a compromise of their history. Whereas Burji seem to have exploited the past opportunities of two nobles during Haile Selassei for their justification of expansion to the exterior of Guji land. Burji suppose Habas for demarcation with West Guji. They repudiate the boundary drawn by higher officials that did not consider historical links. Whereas Guji agreed on as the demarcation was in Kilta wodo during hailesslassei in contrast to the Burji claim at Habas River. One of my discussant (from Guji FDG) who is Aba Murti (elder of traditional judge in West Guji) by mentioning as he was grown up that area and know about the case adequately. He asserted as the Guji – Burji demarcation was in Kilta wodo, which has big distance with Habas of Burji claim for yet. Moreover, Guji claim on Dolcha valley and Lula River, which has historical and ritual links.
Both groups have their own divergent ends of resources, the Guji informants via reiterating as they have competence and potential of farming each portion of their land. They explicit as they have different ways of economic activities that push them to put the land without farming so as the grasses grow well that can use it for grazing purpose, principally in dry season. For instance, “we (Guji inhabitants who live around Gomole kebele of Surpha woreda of Borana zone next to Berguda woreda of West Guji zone that border with Burji) are mainly pastoralists where as those live around Bule hora woredas of West Guji zone are agriculturalists”. Both groups have irreconcilable attitude on that free lands, which has inflexible behaviors to compromise and deepen incompatible goals. The Guji consume land for grazing of herds on the daytime, while come again in the morning for performing similar activities then they got ploughed portion of their land by Burji throughout night that trig the dispute instantaneously. Accordingly, the participants of focus group discussion spell out as “government instructed us plant trees and protect until grown up so as enable us for staying there during drought season. However, the Burji cut and burn our trees that aggravated our arguments”.
All discussants divulge “our lands that Burji claims for farming by assuming as it is free, the Guji do not have the problem to farm on it, rather we put it free because the Guji are agriculturalist as well as pastoralist that keep the lands for their livestock”. The Guji contemplation about the land is that if they plough plow all of their lands then what will they feed their cattle, which is one of bases of survival and economic activities. On top, the Guji elders expose as they become concerned about next generation hence they are facing insufficiency of lands due to lack of surplus land which the Burji believe as it is. They elucidated, due to Burji’s strong agriculturalist conduct, they presume every piece of land should be utilize for farming unlike Guji pastoralists that keeps for livestock, which intensify launches for arguments.
In the instant of 2008 violence, there was a propagation to people through articulating as Burji are preparing for war, then the Guji also start reflecting similar vein even by discoursing they should not use Burji transportation. Then revulsion among each other revolves whether the ongoing propagandas are true or false since it transmitted orally. The residents of Guji in conflicting areas were pleaded government officials of their kebeles and woredas to deter pushing pressure of Burji to their lands before the eruption of violent conflicts. Due to negligence and lack of active reaction for conflict prevention, the conflict outspread. If the government organ instantly counteract the argument from instigation whilst can avert to peaceful negotiation that would forestall from violence. It is routine for administrative organs to take action subsequent to loose of life and devastation of conflict, would rather pursue early warning and response mechanisms of conflict prevention. The Guji have one folklore states “Abbaan kiyya lafa baqaqxe hodha jennaan, inni kuun kiyya lafa baqaquu dhowwa jedhe” which means, “My father repairs the fractured land” said one person and his friend responded, “Mine prevent the land from fracturing”. Prevention is more effective and less costly than curative.
The Guji had horrid memories with Gedeo due to such negligence of administrative officials. They engaged to hideous conflict in 1995 and 1998 due to a product of referendum notion of ethnic federalism ratified in 1995 Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Nevertheless, the Guji supplicated governmental body until regional and federal levels so as to preclude referendum intuition of Gedeo to take the ownership of their land and assent to live peacefully as earlier, could not keep away from warfare. My fieldwork interview shows, now both groups feel regretful for that combat. Consequently, Guji informants stressed as could not compromise the ownership of land subject that make adversary and contest with all of their neighboring ethnic groups, which the Burji elites as well should cautious about it. Guji elders enunciate, the Burji’s can also stay and farm indisputably akin to Gedeo that live in Bule hora, Kilenso rasa, Shakiso, Anfara, taro and the like areas of Guji land. Even Guji themselves implicit dreadful conditions of Burji land. They presumed, “Burji would not acknowledge us even if we offer additional portion of our land rather they will keep demanding further as what happen in conflict resolution moment of 2008 that took vast area of our land and yet claiming for more”. The Guji have misgivings about genuine intention of Burji requesting land for cultivation purpose only rather devious to diversify and allege for possession of land.
Even, if Guji let Burji to farm or conduct any activity on their land, they would not administer under Guji rules and deny paying dues and tributes. My key informant of Guji who got Honorary Doctorate Degree of Humane letters from Bule Hora University in 2015 Dr. Agaa tenteno Guye of very known and famous former Guji Abba Gada spell out as. “An immense quandary with Burji unlike other ethnic groups who live in our lands, they do not want to administer and ruled under West Guji zone.’ After utilized our resources in our lands, they give all kind of payment including various dues, tributes and taxes to Burji districts”. Despite the fact that, government proclaims clearly as anybody should ruled under the administration of districts and zone they are working and living, the Burji community could not apply the rule even if agreed in different assembles, predominantly around border. As a best example, the Burji farm under Guji kebeles called Worera Sawa and Sololo Jawe, and then become reluctant to administer under these localities and give tribute for Burji districts. These actions step up their suspicion and anxious of amalgamation with region 8 through referendum. Guji informants stressed, “If they work in our lands and resources, they should govern under our rules and principles”. Hence, Guji hate to hear about referendum quest and are cautious to welcome Burji, principally in frontier. It is the product of this notion upholds confrontation among residents around edge. The Guji put precondition, if Burji administer in their rule and disregard the intention of referendum then they can settle and work in their lands. Yet, should not be tricky to claim and start resistance for ownership of land after a while of advanced and diversify their cultivation.
The officials of both groups clarify the role of elites (cabines) in intensifying the conflict. The Burji elites exploit the existing opportunities of the government. One of the Burji government officials expound, they are pro to petition to the central government than managing at the grass level. Asebe & et al (2010) reveals, during the imperial period, the Burji benefited on acquiring different services of the moment on missionary activity and introduction of governmental schools. This enables their individual to enroll in state apparatus at least in lower status of profession that blamed by Guji as it was instance for Burji to catch an opportunities of upper hand on their rival Guji.
Asebe & et al (2010) demonstrate, how the political entrepreneurs affects peaceful interaction of the two groups. For instance, even refuses to adapt their school curriculum in their local language from Amharic that afraid to use Latin script the same as Guji. Nevertheless, it work out in most of Southern Ethiopia ethnic groups via assume as it make them preposterous with Guji which is inferiority complex. Most of the Burji elders stress on the magnitude of political entrepreneurs in fueling the potential conflict of the two groups by broadening their gaps, which deter their harmonious peaceful social co-existence.
Some Burji informants infer business of political entrepreneurs (cabines) that share out funds amongst themselves. Since budget release from regional and federal government to control and manage violence, which political elites distributed among them and then report by showing fake list of expenditure with spending insignificant amount for conflict. In spite of the fact that, motivation for their political business of corruption made them to neglect controlling and prevention of conflict. The Guji political elites are reluctant in giving early warning and preventive measures. Rather than searching and addressing the root causes of the conflict and responding in appropriate and conducive condition, censure other party – on Burji political elites by connecting the conflict only with political issue.
The government policy and the political elites (cabines) are the trigger and aggravating factors of contest. The Burji and Guji conflict is on competition for scarce resources of land. Pastoralist behavior of Guji enables to grab hold of broad and wet land. Agriculturalist behavior of Burji coerced cultivation of all lands that leads to land degradation. In fact, shortage of farming land of Burji, intimidated and scared Guji inclusion of their land to southern region by departing from Oromia region since it is evident if they got ownership of it. Elite manipulations of Political entrepreneurs are engine for pull out of hostility among the groups. The elders enlighten, cabines made hostile with their historical peaceful neighbors of Konso.
Asebe & et al, (2010:45) pointed out, “Political mobilization for the elites remains central in their ascription to ethnic conflicts. Burji peasants heavily depend on the scarce and depleting agricultural land on which their subsistence is based. These peasants would render their support to any political party that speaks issue of access to land in its political/party program. Land question for Burji peasants is not maximizing the productivity of land they already occupied, rather question of expanding to the lowland areas they and their elites claim as No Man’s land. It can therefore be argued that the Burji political elites, particularly at district level are playing political games to benefit out of existing conflict. This was also what the official at regional level speculated stating; Local political actors might also have their roles in fueling the conflict”.
4.3.2. Current Status of potential conflict of West Guji with Burji
Guji frustrated on steady dreadful conditions of their land via rapid pressure of Burji cultivation besides an aggression of loosing possession of their land. In view of that, Burji persistently struggle for once farmed land, which angers each other on encroachments of land. This irritation extended Guji up to prohibit to their resources such as grazing and lumbering, in return Burji move to deny their water. These contradictions trig potential conflicts nowadays. Burji informants in Bule Hora illuminate, they were panic in the explosion quarrels of the two groups at the border. It is six-month edict of state of emergence in Ethiopia (since September 2016) that calms down the eruption of clashes and maintains hard peace.
Before conflict resolution process of 2010, lack of clear legal demarcation of border that cheer on diversification of Burji agriculture to Guji land via inferring all lands are under possession of governments. In the while of definite drawn mark under Abba Duula Gamada and Shiferaw Shigute of higher government official, Burji frustrated on contraction of their land. Subsequently, in recent time Burji starts buying lands from adjacent areas of neighborhood. Then Guji officials castigate seller by saying “we keep this land in our bone and blood” as well Burji official reprimand buyers by saying, “it is our land and we will take it when convenient time comes in the future”. The potential violence twists in Burji readiness for fatal with attitude of ‘we do not fritter away both – our money and purchased land’ when legal officials assess the case. Burji decided to die than giving back the land that they bought. According to my Burji key informant, Burji working out extension of land via buying from Guji in order to avoid taxing and administering under Oromia region. He supposed, Burji should expound their petition for government officials during demarcation of border than tricking now. Another contention is Guji let their cattle to Burji farm. If Burji need wet Guji land for cultivation, then they should live together through taxing and administered by Guji rule. The high deluxe of Guji land invites most of their neighbors for contending.
Land is contending factor amongst Guji and Burji. Agriculturalist behavior of Burji pulls to stretch farming to wet lands of Guji. The consequences of rural violence resulted in instability for Burji inhabited around urban areas and neglected by governmental officials. Active reaction appears aftermath of conflicts than early warning and prevention. Prevention is effectual and hardly costly than curetting. Recurrently quarrels existed in Guji action of letting their cattle to Burji farm. Burji give the impression of extending their cultivations to Guji land in the stance of scrambling land for their children (generation). Burji’s spell out “we will not tolerate this wet plenty free land; we will make it productive with cultivation”. The officials of the two groups do not discuss together and give solution for their arguments. Burji farmers speak as no one update and follow up to pay tax for Guji after utilized their land. Even nowadays Burji’s are buying land from Guji secretly.
In Ralaya Goche around 150 Burji bought land from Guji. Moreover, the Guji let their livestock on the farm of Burji that inflict arguments. Burji entirely cultivated their land and pushed to Guji land through deforestation, which inflict conflict. Burji expound as no one instruct them to use land of Guji with taxing and administering by them. Guji purchased plough plow from Burji and buy farmed ox from Guji. Guji’s have productive land that astound Burji. These days the culture of inter-marriage instigating, for instance in some Kebeles of Burji such as Nedele, Wakaya, Gocha and Buke Hora that circumvent historical animosity. Its central intent is for economic objective in order to own land of Guji in the course of son in law. Contrarily in Muri, Lemo and Kilicho areas, they do not even tolerate for lumbering. The Burji have plenty of water resources, which the rivals pursued for their livestock and inversely Guji have plenty of wet lands that Burji pursued for their agriculture. Hence, be supposed to pick up the pace of economic interdependence.
There is contention of ongoing potential violence. After demarcation onwards, there are arguments of benchmark wood of demarcation burned or excavated from its root. Furtive illegal selling – buying of lands is intricate to assess because both parties conceal the realities in court and explicate as they use the land friendly via Burji farm on it and share the profit with the owner of the land. Around 14 individuals accused and some of them are prisoner. Guji employ the tactic of farming on the front line to deter Burji extension that frustrate them while look free land in the middle and reciprocate prohibition of their water. The Burji have water resources for instance, in Dolicha under Goche kebele which Medhiba of Guji kebeles used whereas the Guji have plenty of lands and forests. When Guji prohibit their lands then Burji deny their water which quarrel them recurrently. Guji anger that historically the water was part of time and it is due to their rapid expansion that include under their possession.
4.4. The Quest for Sustainable peace
4.4.1. Experience of Traditional Mechanism of Resolving West Guji and Burji Conflict
In many southern Ethiopian communities, traditional mechanisms of conflict management and resolution play a pivotal role in curtailing inter-group conflicts and in sustaining harmony between the groups. After 1991, conditions changed in new ethnic federalism of EPRDF policy, their clash modified to critical issue – land, particularly linked with the apprehension of referendum that led the bases for 2008 large-scale violence conflict. The conflicts results in loose of human life and mass destructions of material, chiefly things were worse for Burji since they have unrivaled population number. The government officials elucidate, the conflict was more than the capacity of woreda, zone as well as region capacity that escort the intervention of federal police force and the conflict resolution mechanism process was through clear classification of their border land mark with milestone and ligneous.
The federal government officials fix on performing on their own set of space via sharing natural resources in the persistence of indigenous ownership. These construct temporary settlement of conflicts – negative or hard peace that unable to build sustainable peace, at least it minimize day to day loose of human life at the time. The people of both groups were dissatisfied in the fixation point of demarcation via alleging as their land left with conflicting party. Guji deduce as their land portion of historical as well as ritual places averted to Burji through shoving by farming while the respective group figure out the land given for them is inadequate and undeserved. This retain grudge, which result in prohibiting Burji to farm or perform any activity in the border area. Consequently, the land of Burji is shrinking from time to time as their population pressure boost. This condition facilitate for potential violence. Unless an appropriate measure taken and conflict prevention mechanism enforce, situation will aggravate worse than before.
For the resolution of 2010, under Dugda dawa and Bule hora, which border both ethnic groups, form yeselamna tsetita timir committee (peace and security joint) from traditional elders, religious leaders, government officials and different actors via building awareness, carry out several conferences and workshops. Resolution ceremony was held on February 28, 2010 through slaughtering of ox from Burji and dulacha (old cow) from Guji with blessing of Abba Qallu and Abba Gadaa of Guji and Woma (king) of Burji. First, the Abba Gadaas blesses then Mekaneyesus church, Orthodox Church and Muslim respectively. The role of religion was remarkable in Guji-Burji conflict resolution. There was spritial conference in Goche Rake areas of Medhiba of Burji (there is Undarako of Guji kebeles) through praying and preaching. It was an imperative experience by set upping spiritual conference in Dokolo village as well by preaching about forbearing and peace.
4.4.2. The role of Religion in Resolution of West Guji and Burji Conflict
One of unique features in West Guji is the role of religion in mitigating and preventing conflict. Many scholars and informants agreed that conflict in Guji decrees due to the diversification of Christianity, predominantly protestant. The earlier bold sight of Guji as warrior is decreasing in a great rate due to religion diversification in the area. One of my informants from Apostolic (Hawariat) church illustrates how much diverse ethnic societies worship together in the sense of brother and sister. One Borana person from Hawariat church, after he surprised in the mixture of the two groups, which never see before, then he sings, “Gudii, wangeelli kuni gudii. Walti rare Boranafi Guji” meaning “gospel is amazing that can bring and mix Guji and Borana together”. Historically Borana never mix with Guji since hostility started amongst them. Even they do not stay together with Guji. After people follow the same church and conference in different area, it opens the opportunity of intermix. The role of religious in preventing conflict is marvelous though restricted to preach and guide only follower of their church. Some says there are situations that religious leaders enter inside conflicting arena and ban their church members from killing other group by saying ‘they are your brothers’ and they have the capacity of calming down the intensification of conflict.
After assemble leader of assorted religion, find out Mekaneyesus church to take the responsibility of enrolling in conflict resolution mechanism. In the while of assure the consent of all actors that the church arrange spiritual conference. There was a ceremony of kidase (ritual worship) and washing of legs one another as a sign of giving amnesty to each other. One of colossal challenges was it took long time in convincing all people, which is the member of the church and non-member. Since both groups have incompatible objectives, whereby Burji targeted on pushing farming land and Guji prevent their lands. The Ethiopian wengelawit mekaneyesus church has an institution of Peace and reconciliation office head in Addis Ababa. They have expertise that check and look for when any conflict is turn out.
South Ethiopia Bule hora Wongelawit Mekaneyesus church pronounced for the head the ongoing Guji-Burji conflict and their official expertise arrived at conflict for investigation. After the intervention of church in peace process human killing decline reversely failed exertions of traditional mechanisms according to discussants of CINODOS in FDG. Through peace and reconciliation office, carry out frequent workshops and training including for non-followers of the religion. Peace and reconciliation office have principles, process, rules and procedures. In this process, they have the system to include the indigenous people, elders, followers and non-followers of the religion, which embark on convincing via discussion with all actors. Religion can share the tasks of government as such church preaches and condemns harmful components of culture. Government is the ruling class and religion is an organ of government that stands for people.
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