In a report published in December 2011, Minority Rights Group International highlights the problems facing minority groups, specifically in an area covering Kenya, Uganda and Jonglei State in South Sudan. Competition over resources has increased the potential for confrontation not only with local dominant ethnic groups, but also with the state and international corporations, thereby increasing the liklihood of different forms of conflict on different levels. Progressive legal protections are often not enforced because of a disconnect at state-level between legislation and law-enforcement, which only exacerbates existing problems caused by long-standing discrimination. Moreover, conflict involving already marginalised people adversely affects the women and children in these groups in particular, which in turn re-impacts on the community because of the traditional roles that women play in family cohesion and as food producers.
Many problems arise not simply because people belonging to minority groups are themselves marginalised, but also their community and governance structures which previously had been successful in mediating conflict such as (in an East African context) cattle raiding. Marginalisation not only discriminates against individuals because of their backgrounds or beliefs but also rides roughshod over communal organisation and mediation, leaving groups unable to adapt to change or protect their interests when threatened by more powerful entities.
To read the full report and press release, click here
Image Source: Leonie_x Read more »