Peacebuilding or ‘Development’? The Dynamics of Conflict and NGOs’ Role in Borana, Oromia Region, Ethiopia
AbstractThis study explores the debates about the role of NGOs that have been involved in the Borana zone, Oromia Region, in Ethiopia. The study examines some of the major areas of their engagement in Borana with regards to peace building and ‘development’. The interviews and focus group discussion and observations from the various reports indicate that there were several NGOs working in the area, which was also acknowledged by members of the community during the fieldwork. Information from the local government administration offices in Borana also show that they do recognize the wide ranging activities of NGOs. The study indicated that while NGOs continue to engage in the region in activities relating to natural resource management, community capacity building and humanitarian responses generally presented as ‘development works’, the involvement of most of them in peace building in the form of hosting conferences, meetings and facilitating peace agreements have been abandoned following the coming into being of what has been popularly termed as civil society legislation (Proclamation 621/2009). Consequently NGOs that were involved in direct forms of peace building at some level have now shifted their discourses to ‘development’.
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