When Large-Scale Land Acquisition Meets Local Conflict: Experiences from Gambela Regional State, Ethiopia

Siyum Adugna Mamo


This study examines the arrival of the (trans)national investment companies in Gambela Regional State of Ethiopia where the Anyuaa and Nuer ethnic groups struggle over land and natural resources. The study aimed to explore the implication of the convergence of the large-scale land acquisition and resource based local conflict towards the local community in the region. A qualitative research approach was taken to carry out the study. Accordingly, findings from in-depth qualitative interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews show that the (trans)national investment companies contributed for the escalation of the conflict in the region. The arrival of the (trams)national companies, through the country’s pro-large-scale investment policy, in the region where land has been contested by groups organized along ethnic fault-lines, created the competition and struggle over land increasing the number of competitors on the same land. The study concludes that the nexus between the large-scale land transfer and resource based conflict in the region resulted de-peasntization and proletariansation of the rural poor in the region. Therefore, apposite land policy and governance is needed since such policy and governance not only contributes for sustainable development and manage the conflict but also helps to empower the rural poor beyond its role to redress the damage done.            

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18415/ijmmu.v4i4.84


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