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Mobile Peoples & Stationary States Presented at the PENHA, 15 Anniversary Celebrations London, 9/29/05.

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Presentation on theme: "Mobile Peoples & Stationary States Presented at the PENHA, 15 Anniversary Celebrations London, 9/29/05."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mobile Peoples & Stationary States Presented at the PENHA, 15 Anniversary Celebrations London, 9/29/05

2 FORMATION OF COLONIAL BORDERS The partition of African territories into colonies and protectorates was done partly as a result of the Berlin Conference but mainly by a process of bargaining. The Claim & counter-claims were more compelling if the colonial power was able to back them up with military might. In the Horn of Africa, the British, the French and the Italians were the European nations competing for territory. In Eritrea the Turko-Egyptian Empire preceded the era of the scramble for Africa. It had Maritime centers.

3 The Colonialists & Menelik UNLIKE MOST OTHER PARTS OF AFRICA, the European colonialists in the Horn had to match their wits with an African colonialist, who wanted to play the game as equal partner. NOT WILLINGLY ACCEPTED INTO THE CLUB The role that Menelik had assumed in the scramble for Africa, was resented by some (particularly Italy), and reluctantly accepted by others (France, Britain)

4 Battle of Adwa & its Sequels 250,000 men, some armed with modern rifles They Defeated an Italian army Later grew to 600,000 rifles: the colonizing army Colonial powers then decided it was wasteful to challenge Ethiopia when smaller nations could be colonized without a fight: cheaper to bargain with Ethiopia than to fight (British thrift) Negotiations on all the historic and prospective borders began two years after the Battle of Adwa

5 European Colonies in the Horn The BRITISH claims were on three major fronts: Sudan, Kenya and British Somaliland. ITALIAN claim was on two fronts, Italian Somliland and Eritrea. FRENCH role was minimal concerned with the formation of Djibouti & rail link to AA. That is what the settled for, not what they envisioned.

6 FOUR VISIONS BRITISH: CAPE-TO-CAIRO (Cecil Rhodes) RED SEA--A BRITISH LAKE (realized) FRENCH: SENEGAL-TO-DJIBOUTI, A HOPELESS DREAM. Also marginalized, after Suez, out of the Red Sea by British designs ITALIAN: 1)Assab  Massawa  ERITREA; 2) stepping stone to ETHIOPIA. The design seemed UNREALISTIC after Adwa. ETHIOPIAN: 1) THE CHRISTIAN KINGDOM & its ANCIENT FRONTIER 2) BUFFER ZONE, 3) The circular to fellow colonialists

7 Focus on some borders ETHIOPIA/KENYA –Five years of field research: Two on Ethiopian side, one on Kenyan –Rich archival documentation ETHIOPIA/ERITREA: –The war & its consequences –Study of frontier communities

8 ETHIOPIA/KENYA: NFD The shifta problem –Slaves, Ivory, Small Arms trafficking British disarm frontier communities Ethiopia does not, uses them Shifta vanguard: proxy conquest, deniable Rehabilitation & appointment: Alemu Extreme British indignation NFD phenomenon: no man’s land

9 STRADDLED SOCIETIESS SPLIT BY COLONIAL BORDERS drawn across the heart of their territory: Beja SEASONAL MIGRATIONS: boundaries drawn between the homelands and their seasonal pastures: HAUD MASS EMIGRATIONS/CONQUESTS –PRESAGED BY PROTRACTED DROUGHTS and LONG DISTANCE MIGRATIONS (thesis)

10 WHY NORTH-SOUTH AXIS? ECOLOGICAL BELTS ACROSS AFRICA SAHELIAN BELT SPANS THE CONTINENT DROUGHT-INDUCED LONG -DISTANCE MIGRATIONS, VICTIMS MUST LEAVE THE BELT: go past its northern or southern edge, whichever is nearer EAST-WEST MIGRATIONS ARE USUALLY SUICIDAL: Oromo, Somali, Bantu-Zulu, (but not Fulani) are all mass migrations on north-south axis.

11 EMIGRATION ACROSS ECOLOGICAL ZONES (COST) OROMO EXPANSION –In ARSI: pastoral –In SHOA: agro-pastoral –In WELLEGA & WOLLO: mainly agricultural –In JIMMA: faced ensete belt, intensive terrace gardeners, most radical change

12 GREAT DROUGHTS DIFFER FROM LESSER DROUGHTS, entail permanent change – – FAMINES & HUGE DISPLACEMENTS –WITNESSED ON ETHIOPIA/KENYA BORDER 60-70% LIVESTOCK DEATHS AMONG MIGRANTS: RETURN WITH VIABLE HERDS In Eastern half of Africa conquests have the same axis: e.g. Zulu, Somali, Oromo (not Fulani)

13 BOUNDARY FORMATION BARGAINING WITH PEOPLE’S LIVES –ONLY VAGUE AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES EUROPEAN COLONIALIST INTEREST IN TERRITORY & PHYSICAL FEAURES –MAJOR GWYNN’S TRIANGULATIONS –FANCY FOOTWORK from Menelik’s viewpoint –Uganda is the exception, Buganda center MENELIK’S CLAIM ON PEOPLES BASIS for all SUBSEQUENT NEGOTIATIONS HIS CLAIM OF 1899 (Memo of understanding)

14 TEXT: Memo of 1899 “ Following tribal limits, the actual delimitation takes place: the frontier [is] to start from the termination of the Sudan frontier,… west of the Omo River, the Turkana country is to remain under the British sphere. ”

15 Text: 1899 “On the sourthern side, starting from the junction of the Dawa river and the Juba River, the frontier being based on tribal limits, the Marrehan are to be in the British sphere, the Garri, Gabra, Sakuyyu, … Boran, and Tertalle tribes are in the Ethiopian sphere.”

16 TWO STRANGE NOTIONS 1. THAT AN AFRICAN KINGDOM CAN HAVE A “SPHERE” OF INFLUENCE DURING THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA 2. THAT ITS SPHERE OF INFLUENCE WAS TO BE DEFINED IN RELATION TO TRIBAL LIMITS, NOT PHYSICAL FEATURES

17 TO ETHIOPIA’S ADVANTAGE TRIBES IN QUESTON WERE MOBILE BORANA ARE EXPANSIVE: HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN LONG-DISTANCE AND LONG-TERM MIGRATION for 100 years. GOING IN A SOUTHWARD DIRECTION: I.E. FROM EMEGING ETHIOPIA INTO EMERGIN KENYA LEAVES KENYA VULNERABLE

18 CLAIMS & BACK UPS BRITISH –FORCE: EFFECTIVE OCCUPATION –THREAT OF FORCE: BRITISH NAVY ETHIOPIAN –THREAT OF FORCE: ETH ARMY –LEGITIMACY: ALLEGIANCE –DIFFERENT STRATGY FROM SHIFTA VANGUARD –APPOINTMENT OF QALLUS (P.4)

19 Some Key Questions Why are pastoralists marginalized? Why do they so often live in or near the no man’s lands? (Exception: Bantu kingdoms of Great Lakes, Chwezi Legends) Why are pastoralists straddled across international boundaries? What provisions were made in boundary formations to give them access to cross- border pastures? Haud Zeila Proposal.

20 Border Between Ethnic Groups Colonial Attempts at Enclosure –Ethnic Boundaries –Penalties for cross border movement –Confiscation of livestock –Realization that ethnic boundaries are vague –Transitional groups, between all ethnic groups across the whole Horn of Africa (Spencer on Rendille-Samburu, Gunther Schlee, Legesse)

21 Hofte: Example of Transitional Group  Gabra and Borana are interdependent  Alliance (Pax Borana) & intermarriage  Gabra & Borana separated by international boundary  Prohibited Borana emigration into Kenya  Villages disarmed, dismounted, set on fire  Chiefs declare: Hofte are a Gabra clan  Monkey wrench in British ethnic taxonomy

22 ENCLOSURES, RANCHING & SEDENTARIZATION KENYA RANCHES: failed experients SEDENTARIZATION IN ERIREA: new forms of poverty HUGE SETTLEMENTS: ecologic degradation, dropping water tables COMMERCIAL & STATE FARMS MARGINALIZATION of pastoralists

23 POSITIVE INTERFACE: KENYA BORANA-GABRA ECOLOGICAL GRADIENT: MIST FOREST TO DESERT INTERDEPENDENT SUBSISTENCE ECONOMIES SUPPORT DURING GREAT DROUGHTS PARTIAL SEDENTARIZATION INTEGRATION INTO NATIONAL LIFE: KANU, EDUCATION, ADMINISTRATION

24 POSITIVE INTERFACE: ERITREA BETWEEN PASTORALISTS AND OTHERS AWASH VALLEY AUTHORITY DISASTER GASH BARKA TODAY: islands of privilege, marginalization of herders, security crisis STRAKEHOLDERS MEETING & BEYOND –COMMERCIAL FARMERS, SETTLERS, RETURNEES, AGRO PASTORALISTS, AND PASTORALISTS

25 SURVIVAL BY DIVERSIFICATION PASTORALISTS SURVIVE ONLY IF THEY EXPLOIT THE FULL ECOLOGICAL GRADIENT VOLUNTARY PARTIAL SEDENTARIZATION DIVERSIFICATION OF THEIR ECONOMY: rooted on pastoral production; culling, savings, fattening livestock on irrigated pastures, dairy production, hides & skins, leather industry DEVELOP APPROPRIATE WATER RESOURCES REGAIN CONTROL OF RIVERINE FORESTS POLITICAL FOOTHOLD


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