Cross Border Conflicts Between The Kipsigis And Abagusii Of Kenya, 1963-2002


This study acknowledges that communities in Kenya have cordially interacted with one another in various ways both in the pre-colonial, colonial and post-independence period. These cordial relations are sometimes interrupted by inter-ethnic conflicts that are either latent or manifest in nature. Most of these conflicts in Kenya are perpetrated by small militia groups which are consistently most active in the last and first quarters of each year following raiding patterns that tend to increase at the beginning of each rainy season. Some of the conflicts also tend to take place during the electioneering period. However, some communities have age-long conflicts dating back to the pre-colonial period which re-emerged in the post-independence period. These inter-ethnic conflicts may have many aspects including the economic, political, social, and cultural aspects. This research sought to examine the different aspects behind the cross-border inter-ethnic conflicts in Kenya and their implications. This was done by investigating the relations between the Kipsigis and Abagusii along the Sotik- Borabu border. This research addressed three objectives: First, was to investigate the role played by politics in instigating the cross-border conflicts between the two communities under study. Second, was to analyze the role played by the social-economic factors in propagating the conflicts and lastly, was to assess the implications of the conflicts between the two communities under study. The study adopted Randall Collins‟ analytic conflict theory which is based on differential distribution of resources; hence competition that leads to conflicts in the society. Stuart Kaufman‟s symbolic/emotional choice theory was also adopted. Kaufman‟s theory gives an explanation on how the security dilemma, group-mythologies that justify enmity with another group combined with elite and mass interaction within and between ethnic groups cause ethnic conflicts. The study was limited to the period between 1963 and 2002. The research was confined to Gelegele Location of Ndanai Division of Ndanai Constituency, Bomet County and Esise Location of Borabu Division of Borabu Constituency, Nyamira County. Other than sharing a border, the two locations have been selected because they have been in conflict with each other. Both primary and secondary data were used in this study. The research was qualitative in nature and the researcher used a descriptive research design. Purposive sampling and snowball sampling techniques were used to reach out to the informants. Interviews and questionnaires were employed as key research instruments. The targeted groups of respondents were educationists, public administrators, religious leaders, residents, Non –governmental organizations dealing with peace building along the border and business persons. The research came up with factors like exclusion politics, re-introduction of multiparty politics, incitement from politicians and failure of security forces as the political factors. Social-economically, factors like raiding, land and unemployment contributed to the conflicts. The conflicts also caused more negative effects than the positive ones on the Abagusii and Kipsigis. The results were then checked for any serious flaws and then thematically analyzed based on the objectives of the study and presented in the narrative form.

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HELLEN, O (2021). Cross Border Conflicts Between The Kipsigis And Abagusii Of Kenya, 1963-2002. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

HELLEN, OMWENGA "Cross Border Conflicts Between The Kipsigis And Abagusii Of Kenya, 1963-2002" Afribary. Afribary, 28 May. 2021, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.


HELLEN, OMWENGA . "Cross Border Conflicts Between The Kipsigis And Abagusii Of Kenya, 1963-2002". Afribary, Afribary, 28 May. 2021. Web. 16 Jun. 2024. < >.


HELLEN, OMWENGA . "Cross Border Conflicts Between The Kipsigis And Abagusii Of Kenya, 1963-2002" Afribary (2021). Accessed June 16, 2024.