Clash of Politics over the Border: Moyale, Ethio-Kenya/Somale

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Guyo Doyo


This research presents the history of conflict among the Moyale border communities by revisiting the roots of the colonial project. The researcher employed qualitative and quantitative methods and analyzed challenges exerted upon the communities, hermeneutically. Thus, the report presents legacies corollary to the establishment of the border and the surviving culture of ethnic distrust between the Boorana Oromoo and Somali people. The researcher approached the history of border conflict from successive phases in order to address states- community confrontation and administrative instability over the border. Taking the current standoff back to the movement of the 1960s, young republic of Somalia state, and the research explores historical causes of the border crisis and subsequent replications in the post-colonial ideologies. The researcher discusses colonial mistakes and the dynamism of states‟ errors across historical incidents. It addresses political vacuums resulted from states‟ constant appropriations of border politics and how it mark serialized coercion upon the communities. It makes a conclusive suggestion in that the colonial project of border setting lacked basic attributes that the concept "border‟ implies. Adopting colonial functionaries and serving stand-in roles, post-colonial states‟ leadership relapsed in an unsecured collection of combatant border communities. States promote the mission of producing fervent loyalists to its nationalistic motto and territorial sovereignty against communities‟ demands. Localization of the colonial legacies moved from ideology of state building to politics of ethnic federation without solving prior conflicts. Accordingly, the border communities remain victims of an artificial ethnic polarization through the politics of “us” and “them” (identity contentions) and “ours” and “their” (resource competition). Finally, the research calls for rethinking nature of distractive conflict among the bordering communities so as to effectively construe why the border region remained undeveloped for a long period of time. The states‟ longstanding deliberate absences from bringing important developmental public institutions such as universities, national factories
and other considerable projects but huge military camps, should be reversed.

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How to Cite
Doyo , G. (2022). Clash of Politics over the Border: Moyale, Ethio-Kenya/Somale. Gadaa Journal, 5(2), 1-22. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Guyo Doyo , Senior Policy Advisor, Oromia Regional State, President Office

Senior Policy Advisor, Oromia Regional State, President Office