is there any information on conflict resolution in the Somalia tribe in Kenya. If so, could you direct me to some articles. Thank you


Answered By: Linda Kern
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016     Views: 58

Hello! Glad you asked.

Somali is a difficult search word because many searches will also return Somalia. It may yield better results to search for traditional dispute resolution or customary law of the Somali people, regardles of where they live. Cultural structures in Africa do not respect national boundaries.

Begin with the Conflict Resolution LibGuide, at This is a collection of sources developed by your librarians and Dr. Frank.

The Web Sites tab of the LibGuide has good potential resources such as Restorative Justice. Try searching several. Don't miss Unveiling Women as Pillars of Peace: Peace Building in Communities Fractured by Conflict in Kenya at the bottom of the page.

Then go to the articles tab. In the lower left corner of this page you will see eJournals, and the African Journal of Conflict resolution. Click the link.  Scroll down the page. At the very bottom you will see a listing of every issue. Unfortunately, the best way to search is check each individual issue.

The search function is limited, and a search of the website doesn't turn up everything. You could also try it though.

One of the better sources for conflict resolution is Lexis Nexis. This database is the first one linked under the articles tab on the LibGuide, in the top center of the page. Once you log into Lexis you will see a grid of 6 search boxes. Choose the one on the bottom right, the Combined Search. Within that search box, be sure only the law reviews box is checked. The remainder of the information sources will only clutter your search. Search the last several years. I began searching with somali AND kenya AND "dispute resolution". Include the quotation marks as part of the search to focus your results. This yielded a few results that might be relevant.

A searching tip: When you open a long article, Lexis will have the search terms highlighted in red font. You can also hit the CTRL and F keys simultaneously and bring up a search function to search for the word Somali in the text. This will make your life much easier!

I changed up the search several times to get different results. You might try somali AND kenya AND "customary law". For example, I would try

  • somali AND kenya AND "conflict resolution"
  • somali AND kenya AND mediation
  • somali AND kenya AND and "customary law"
  • somali AND kenya AND and "traditional law"
  • switch out Kenya for Wajir, which is a border region where many Somali live.
  • Try searching these Somali clan names with conflict resolution terms: Hawiye - Murale, Hawiye - Ajuuraan, Garre, Degoodiya, Daarood-Ogaadeen,
    Daarood-Harti, Isxaaq

The Academic Search Complete database is also listed in the LibGuide. It should also have results.

Sometimes the open web can also be helpful for a search like this. Googling these terms may yield scholarly results, but sort through them carefully and evaluate for quality.

If you run into problems, let us know.

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