Land tenure and violent conflict in Kenya

In August 2008, the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) launched the inception phase of a project on Land Tenure and Violent Conflict in Kenya. In the aftermath of the early 2008 post-election violence, it became clear that issues related to land tenure were perceived by many experts as key to understanding the root causes and dynamics of conflict. Indeed, the “Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation” process identified land reform as key to long-term peace and reconciliation, and the proposed “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission” was mandated to examine historical land injustices, and the illegal or irregular acquisition of land, especially as these relate to conflict or violence.1 A literature review was conducted, key informants were interviewed, and some preliminary field research was carried out in the Mt. Elgon area. Following these activities, a consultative session was convened in early October to examine the conceptual framework of the project, and to provide feedback on a proposed second phase of activities.