Shifta War - Background

Background

Throughout much of the 20th century, the Northern Frontier District (NFD) was a part of British East Africa. From 1926 to 1934, the NFD, comprising the current North Eastern Province and the districts of Marsabit, Moyale and Isiolo, was closed by British colonial authorities. Movement in and out of the district was possible only through the use of "passes". Despite these restrictions, pastoralism was well-suited to the arid conditions and the non-Somali residents—who represented a tiny fraction of the region's population – were relatively prosperous, whereas the Somali owners of the land were calculated in underdevelopment. Anthropologist John Baxter noted in 1953 that:

The Boran and the Sakuye were well-nourished and well-clothed and, though a pastoral life is always physically demanding, people led dignified and satisfying life... They had clearly been prospering for some years. In 1940, the District Commissioner commented in his Handing Over Report: "The Ewaso Boran have degenerated through wealth and soft living into an idle and cowardly set"...

On 26 June 1960, four days before granting British Somaliland independence, the British government declared that all Somali areas should be unified in one administrative region. However, after the dissolution of the former British colonies in East Africa, Britain granted administration of the Northern Frontier District to Kenya despite a) an informal plebiscite demonstrating the overwhelming desire of the region's population to join the newly-formed Somali Republic, and b) the fact that the NFD was and still is almost exclusively inhabited by ethnic Somalis.

On the eve of Kenyan independence in August 1963, British officials belatedly realised that the new Kenyan administration were not willing to give up the historically Somali-inhabited areas they had just been granted administration of. Somali officials responded with the following statement:

It was evident that the British Government has not only deliberately misled the Somali Government during the course of the last eighteen months, but has also deceitfully encouraged the people of North Eastern Province to believe that their right to self-determination could be granted by the British Government through peaceful and legal means.

Led by the Northern Province People's Progressive Party (NPPPP), Somalis in the NFD vigorously sought union with the Somali Republic to the north. In response, the Kenyan government enacted a number of repressive measures designed to frustrate their efforts:

Somali leaders were routinely placed in preventive detention, where they remained well into the late 1970s. The North Eastern Province was closed to general access (along with other parts of Kenya) as a "scheduled" area (ostensibly closed to all outsiders, including members of parliament, as a means of protecting the nomadic inhabitants), and news from it was very difficult to obtain. A number of reports, however, accused the Kenyans of mass slaughters of entire villages of Somali citizens and of setting up large "protected villages" – in effect concentration camps. The government refused to acknowledge the ethnically based irredentist motives of the Somalis, making constant reference in official statements to the shifta (bandit) problem in the area.

Read more about this topic:  Shifta War

Other articles related to "background":

Young, Gifted And Black - Personnel
... Billy Preston - Organ Sammy Turner - Background Vocals Hubert Laws - Alto Flute Chuck Rainey - Bass J.R ... Bailey - Background Vocals Carolyn Franklin - Background Vocals Erma Franklin - Background Vocals The Memphis Horns - Ensemble The Sweet Inspirations - Background Vocals Jack Adams - Engineer Howard Albert ... Clark - Background Vocals Cornell Dupree - Guitar Jimmy Douglass - Engineer Tom Dowd - Arranger, Producer Chuck Kirkpatrick - Engineer Eric Gale - Bass Lewis ...
Yankee White
... Yankee White is an administrative nickname for a background check given in the United States of America for Department of Defense personnel and contractor employees working with the ... Yankee White clearances undergo extensive background investigation ...
TurboGrafx-16 - Technical Specifications - Display - Color
9 bit Colors available 512 Colors onscreen Maximum of 482 (241 background, 241 sprite) Palettes Maximum of 32 (16 for background tiles, 16 for sprites) Colors ...
44 Liquormart, Inc. V. Rhode Island - Background
... In 1985, a liquormart brought a suit against the liquor control commissioner, arguing, among other things, that the first regulation, which prevented the liquormart from advertising its prices, was unconstitutional ... The Rhode Island Supreme Court, however, held that the regulation did not violate the First Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, or the Sherman Anti-Trust Act ...
Eddie Chapman - Background
... Well along into his criminal career he was arrested in Scotland and charged with blowing up the safe of the headquarters of the Edinburgh Co-operative Society ... Let out on bail, he fled to Jersey in the Channel Islands where he attempted unsuccessfully to continue his crooked ways ...

Famous quotes containing the word background:

    They were more than hostile. In the first place, I was a south Georgian and I was looked upon as a fiscal conservative, and the Atlanta newspapers quite erroneously, because they didn’t know anything about me or my background here in Plains, decided that I was also a racial conservative.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.)

    I had many problems in my conduct of the office being contrasted with President Kennedy’s conduct in the office, with my manner of dealing with things and his manner, with my accent and his accent, with my background and his background. He was a great public hero, and anything I did that someone didn’t approve of, they would always feel that President Kennedy wouldn’t have done that.
    Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–1973)

    Pilate with his question “What is truth?” is gladly trotted out these days as an advocate of Christ, so as to arouse the suspicion that everything known and knowable is an illusion and to erect the cross upon that gruesome background of the impossibility of knowledge.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)