East African rangelands have a long history of population mobility linked to competition over key resources, negotiated access, and outright conflict. Both in the literature and in local discourse, in-migration is presented as leading to increased competition, driving poverty and social exclusion on the one hand and conflict and violence on the other. Current analyses in developing countries identify economic differences, ethnic fault lines, ecological stresses and a breakdown in State provision of human and constitutional rights as factors in driving conflict. The present paper explores this interaction of in-migration and conflict with respect to Kenyan and Tanzanian pastoralist areas and populations. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, patterns of resource access and control in Kenya and Tanzania Maasailand are explored in terms of the ways land and livestock are associated with migration status, ethnicity and wealth or political class. Contrasts and similarities between the two national contexts are used to develop a better understanding of the ways these factors operate under different systems of tenure and access. The conclusion briefly considers implications of these patterns, their potential for exacerbating poverty, and policies for minimising social exclusion and conflict in East African rangelands
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