The aim of this article is to critically examine the conflict of the Karrayu Oromo’s with other neighboring communities and/or ethnic groups, where by the conflict may be characterized as intra or inter-ethnic group conflict, in light with the analytical framework. The paper will focus on the causes of conflict at different dimensions and will give attention to the dynamics, intensity and impact of the strife.
Semantically, in most pastoral and semi pastoral areas and communities of Ethiopia, it is vividly rampant to observe frequent clashes. Similarly, as the area where Karrayu Oromo groups have been resides in pastoralist areas, it is common to exhibit frequent clashes by different causes such as economic, cultural and environmental etc. Especially, the need for free access to grazing land and water source for their cattle’s leads them to fierce competitions and territorial encroachments, where the latter is more of a spatial factor. As known, most of the pastoralist areas are arid and vulnerable for drought; which in turn faces severe decline in the availability of resources, conflicts are mostly aggravated and results in armed clashes, especially in areas where Karrayu Oromo’s resides. On the top of that, the prevalent intra and inter-ethnic conflict has taken on added intensity and fresh dimensions following the socio-political phenomena.
Using the short explanation hinted above with other detail analysis’s, we will find an inter and intra ethnic relationships and conflicts of the Karrayu Oromo’s with their immediate neighbors’ with a primary focus on the complexities and interfaces of the various causes of conflict, the dynamics, intensity and impact of the strife.
2. General overview on conflicts in pastoralist areas
Pastoralist, as a form of survival in the arid and drought prone areas of Ethiopia, has increasingly been influenced by multi dimensional conflicts. Most pastoral communities have had mobile experience whereby in their history, they couldn’t reside in a constant place. As Markakis (1993 and 1998) elucidates the African pastoral experience, pastoral communities in the region have had to face a novel experience since the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the colonial and post colonial states embarked on the imposition of central governance over their customary systems of local self governance. Unlike this African experience, most of the Ethiopian pastoralist communities face a system of modern governance in recent years especially since 1974. These developments which are strange and unprecedented in the history of the pastoralists were bound to entail a wide range of far reaching consequences both for the local communities and their respective governments. Measures adopted by the central states to supersede pastoral self rule institutions with centralized governance have undermined a traditional autonomy, resource use systems, cultural livelihoods and patters of transhumance of the herding populations.