The Role of State, Non-State Actors and Information Communication Technologies in Peace-Building in Mt. Elgon Region, Kenya
AbstractIntra-state conflicts in the African continent pose a threat to stability and security of the region. The conflict pitting Soy and Ndorobo clans in Mt. Elgon erupted when members of the Soy clan rejected an attempt by the government of Kenya (GoK) to resettle the landless members of the Ndorobo in Chebyuk settlement scheme. The conflict had great socio-economic impacts like loss of lives, massive destruction of property, population displacement and feelings of hatred and animosity amongst the residents. While there is a plethora of literature on causes and effects of intra-ethnic conflicts in Kenya, there is a dearth on peace-building endeavours and the potential of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in conflict resolutions. This study was designed to assess the potential role of state, non-state actors and ICTs in peace-building. The study was based on the conflict transformation theory and diffusion of innovations theory. This qualitative study used in-depth interviews using local inhabitants, state and non-state actors purposively sampled. Data were analysed based on the interpretive approach. The results show that ICTs such as mobile telephones, the Internet and radio-phones had a great potential in peace-building but were seldom (20%) employed. The paper contributes to the on-going dialogue on peace building efforts in Mt. Elgon and other regions experiencing similar conflicts and recommends more use of ICTs in peace-building efforts than was the case in this study.
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