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Library / Cows and Guns: Cattle-Related Conflict and Armed V...
Source: Journal of Modern African Studies, 2017
Author(s): Judith Verweijen and Justine Brabant
Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Topics: Land, Livelihoods, Renewable Resources, Weapons, Waste, and Pollution
This paper analyses the role of cattle in the entwined dynamics of conflict and violence in the Fizi and Itombwe region of South Kivu province, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the one hand, agropastoral conflict intensifies armed mobilisation, allowing armed groups to draw upon particular conflict narratives that generate popular and elite support. It also creates incentives for armed actors to engage in cattle-looting, or the defence against it, for both symbolic and material reasons. On the other hand, the presence of armed forces and the use of violence profoundly shape agropastoral conflicts. Importantly, they change the perceived stakes of these conflicts, and hamper their resolution. By showing that the relations between cattle-related conflict and armed activity are indirect, complex and mutual, the paper refines both theories on agropastoral conflict and those highlighting the role of local conflicts in fuelling violence in the eastern Congo.