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									      Serenity and Strife in
       Swahili East Africa:
Contrasting Urban Creole Histories of
   Mogadishu and Dar es Salaam

        Deborah Fahy Bryceson
            7 November, 2008
Development Studies Association Conference
Contrasting Urban Histories
   Methodology: spatial comparison of social

   Objective: study of East African urban
    ethnicity in relation to patterns of political
    harmony vs. conflict

   Basic question: Why is Mogadishu so violent
    and Dar es Salaam relatively tranquil given
    common Swahili creole legacy?
Swahili Society
 Origins of Swahili society
 Characterization of Swahili society
    – ‘Civilization’ (Horton & Middleton)
    – Process of creole fusion
   Creolization
    – W. Indies identification
    – Definition: historical melding of two or more
      cultures giving rise to a hybrid society of common
      cultural identity amidst marked class stratification
      ranging from slaves to a ruling gentry
   Rural-Urban differentiation
Mogadishu: Template for
Swahili Coastal Towns
 Long urban tradition considered to be
  the northern boundary & gateway to the
  Swahili littoral, 800-1100
 9th century male Arab migrants to the
  Benadir coast
 Blurring rural-urban boundaries as Islam
  spread in the countryside
 Golden Age of Mogadishu’s
 Swahili Urban Order, 1300-1600
 Coastal trade thrived & Mogadishu was
  largest city on coast under the Muzzafar
 Site of religious scholarship and training
  for rest of coast
 Export of cotton cloth
 Afro-Arab ethnic history of Sab
  Rahanweyn who married into the
  dynasty in Mogadishu
Demise of Muzzafar/Ajuraan
Dynasty, 1500-1700
   External threat – Portuguese sea power
    – Christian-Muslim tensions emanating from
   Internal threat
    – Descent of Cushitic Oromo (Galla) &
      Somali pastoralists
    – Hawiye Abgal settlement in Mogadishu &
      inter-married with Ajuraan
    – End of Swahili mercantile state
       • Legend of Hawiye assassination of Ajuraan
Mogadishu’s Clan Politics
 Domination of Hawiye clan & inward
  looking pastoralist economy with decline
  of Mogadishu foreign trade
 Siad Barre’s regime, 1969-1991
    – championed expansion of the Somali
      tribal nation
    – fueled internal clan enmity
    – Collapse of regime brought about Hawiye
      internal conflict within the city
Current State of Conflict
 Islamic Court Union (ICU) against clan
 Triggers US fear of Islamic terrorism
    – Ethiopian troop intervention with US
      backing from Northern Kenya allied with
      national government
    – ICU and clan warlords join forces and
      escalation of violence
   Mass exodus of city population
Dar es Salaam: Creole Mélange

 Dar’s establishment as a cosmopolitan
 Centuries of coastal trade
 Swahili Afro-Arab creole population
 Kiswahili language
 Zaramo/Shomvi/Arab continuum
Ethnicity, Urbanization & Nationalism:
Dar es Salaam Creolism
    Cultural mixing through inter-marriage, market
     relations & common hybrid language

    Tranquil city unique to East Africa

    Relatively easy transition to nation-state
     - Kiswahili as a national language
     - non-tribal, non-racial policy of post-independent
       nation-state with unproblematic leadership
Urbanization & Ethnic
Nationalism: Mogadishu
   Mogadishu - clan not creole politics
    – Breakdown of rural-urban divide in 16th century
    – Segmentary clan structure and territoriality
     Political instability of city & nation-state
     Fractious history of pastoral people facing
      natural resource constraints
     City’s strategic location at the fracture line
      between Islam and Christianity
     Contentious nationalism & clan
Mogadishu street on the Green Line, January 1993
Source: Wikipedia, ‘Anarchy in Somalia’, 14/7/08
Hidaya Mosque attack in Mogadishu, 21 April, 2008
Source: BBC new ‘Clerics killed in Somali mosque attack’, http;//
Sources: Mombasa: Potts 2005, 99
       All other cities: UN Population Division 2005
   Cities in an Insecure World:

 “Overshadowing Gender in
    the Debate on Urban
Violence: Comparative Notes
   on Brazil and the UK”

             Dr. Polly Wilding
     Centre for Development Studies,
           University of Leeds

          DSA Conference 2008

 Analytical and practical divide:
     private and gender-based violence
     violence and public security
 Gender analysis vs. social justice
 Police, media, institutional attention
   implications?
           Case study: Rio de Janeiro

    High death rates: young, poor, black & male
    Women’s roles?
    Overshadowing: impact on women’s agency and
    Apply analysis to new contexts?
    1.   neglect of gender-based violence (within the wider
         debate on violence)
    2.   the need for public violence to be seen through a
         gender lens (and how this impacts upon women).
         Public / private distinction

 Artificial construct
 Gender gap:
     Gender analysis: domestic violence
     Social justice: urban & institutional violence
 Prioritisation of visible, yet
     Forms, actors, incidents overlap
     Link with poverty, exclusion and inequality
 Bridging the gap
        Initial comparative notes: Brazil
                    and UK

 Attention to race
      Complexity
      Overt reference
      E.g. role models
 Attention to girls and young women
      Female criminality
      Range of roles
      Overt reference
              Visualising target groups
       Comments and questions arising

Need to address:
 construction of race
      explicit focus / reinforcement?
 masculinities and femininities
 range of roles
      interplay with sexuality
 range of stances
      condoning, supporting, rejecting, subverting
 interlinkages between forms of violence:
      need for context specific analysis
 how young people perceive acts of violence
      as starting point
The Thorny Road to Sustainable Peace:

     the mutation of violence in
         post-conflict cities

           Nasser Yassin
     American University of Beirut
    May 2008



• The three incidents share a commonality
  of being in a similar context of post-conflict
  or post-political transition or relative peace.

• They highlight the problematic of
  sustaining peace in cities that emerge
  from conflict and/or major political
  transition and illuminate the vulnerability of
  cities to acts of violence.
             Aim & Argument
• The paper examines the transformation of
  violence in post-conflict cities from violence
  associated with protracted warfare and
  prolonged civil strife into new forms.

• The paper argues that post-conflict societies in
  general and post-conflict cities in particular
  do not move from conflict into peace and
  normality in a linear path but rather in a
  traversal/zigzag manner. Political and
  communal conflict and violence mutate into new
• Violence, seemingly, does not end as ‘peace’ –
  or better call it relative peace – is reached.

• It continues albeit with noticeable distinction
  between war times and peace times; what
  Schepher-Huges and Borgois (2004:19) call it
  the ‘blurring of categories and distinctions
  between wartime and peacetime violence’

• It is a ‘violence continuum’.
        Characteristics of Post-Conflict
• violence in post-conflict societies and cities in particular mutates into
  different and new forms. It changes in nature, number of fatalities,
  duration, contexts, victims, and actors or perpetrators.

It changes:
• from protracted & intensive into sporadic & low-intensity;
• It happens sporadically and in between or during periods of relative
• from large number of fatalities from direct fighting and battle-deaths
    into less numbers from single incidents although the number might
• from fighting between mostly well-identified groups and camps into
    other forms such as gang;

• It takes place in societies with minimum ‘state’ authority albeit weak
  and fragile.
   Typology of post-conflict urban
Three types:
• Terrorizing violence that targets the city

• Social and economic

• Communal
      Violence is a result of:
• Legacy of war

• Dynamics of Peace
         As a legacy of war
• violence can be seen as a consequence of
  the fractured institutions that continue to
  be weak and ineffective in the post-conflict
  phase (‘criminal inertia’)

• Culture of violence
    As Dynamics or Nature of

• Linked to the practiced liberal approach to
  post-conflict nation-building.

• Alienation of segments of society

• Social Exclusion
    City not only a backdrop
• What happens in and at the scale of cities
  is vital to any understanding of the
  dynamics of conflicts and peace at the
  larger context. Violence in post-conflict
  cities is indicative of the overall peace
  process and transition from conflict into
   The 4 myths of current
intervention in post-conflict
Myth 1: States make peace, cities
          are marginal
 Myth 2: supersize the projects,
commit to markets and peace is
 Myth 3: Build walls, make them
high and guard them with private
Myth 4: Fractured communal
   relations will self-heal
Confronting Urban Displacement:
Lessons in Mobilization and Participation
           from Kurasini, Dar Es Salaam

                                         Michael Hooper
               Stanford University / University of Oxford
•What motivates slum dweller participation in urban social
•In other words, who participates and why?

              Why Important?
•Growing focus on participatory and bottom-up approaches
to development
•With low government capacity and insecurity - considerable
hope placed in grassroots social movements
•Tacit assumption the poor will participate in bottom-up
action. Some people participate, but who?
                Project Setting
•Examined participation in the Tanzanian Federation of the
Urban Poor (TFUP)

•A savings group-based movement associated with Slum
Dwellers International

•Specifically looking at participation in costly movement

•In particular, enumerations (geographic and population census)
of at-risk communities
•Goal of enumerations - use data to lobby government for grant
of land for resettlement

•Kurasini - unplanned, informal settlement of ~ 35,000 people
built amongst infrastructure of Dar Es Salaam’s port

•Evictions to expand fuel storage facilities in the port, beginning
in late 2007 and 2008

•Organizers believe payoffs important to participation as an
enumerator. Since renters not compensated, intended as
primary beneficiaries of any land grant and this motivates
500 m
•   Analytic narrative - combining formal hypothesis testing
    with textual analysis of qualitative interviews with 102
    enumerator and non-enumerator slum dwellers

•   Six formal hypotheses - based on literature and field work

1) Payoffs
2) Movement identification
3) Social Networks
4) Connection to Place
5) Sense of Political Significance of Community Challenges
6) Belief in Efficacy of Action
•   Do not coincide with a priori expectations
•   Most frequent participants in costly social movement


                     *90% of all enumerators were owners

             * Not renters, as expected by TFUP organizers
             Explaining Results
Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts shows owners
   favoured by…

    - Different payoffs operate than those expected by organizers
    - Owners and renters have different payoffs
    - Renters participate to gain grant of land through successful
    - But, owners participate to improve accuracy of enumeration, to
    influence compensation process

         “Owners participate most because they are the people who benefit
          most. Owners are responsible for the value of their house and the
                               enumeration secures value.” - interviewee
              Explaining Results
Why are owners more likely to pursue their payoffs?

Ownership significantly related to…

*Connection   to place:
    -Owners have lived for significantly longer in their settlement,
    -Are significantly more likely to consider their settlement home,
    -Are Significantly more likely to conceive of challenges facing
    community over the long term

    “Renters are seen, and see themselves, as temporary residents with less
                                              responsibility.” - interviewee
              Explaining Results
Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts shows owners also
   favoured by…

*Belief in efficacy of action:
    - More likely to feel that their opinions and concerns matter
    - Inspired by compensation to believe that their claims can yield
        “Most owners participate because they have confidence. And their
       confidence comes from their property. Renters lack this confidence -
      confidence that their actions will bring returns and benefits – because
                                            they lack property.” - interviewee
    Theory: Exit-Voice-Loyalty
Results coincide with Hirschman’s Exit-Voice-Loyalty model…
• Two Options in dealing with declining performance of a
    state, firm, or organization: Voice or Exit

Two factors lower cost of pursuing voice…
• Belief in efficacy of action, gained through positive past
• Loyalty (spatially akin to connection to place)
            Policy Implications
Kurasini shows risks in mobilization…
• Mobilization of unintended groups
• Inequitable or unrepresentative mobilization

To ensure effective mobilization grassroots organizers and
   policy makers should…
• Recognize that not everyone participates
• Ensure assumed payoffs are those actually motivating
• Understand which cleavages in community are relevant for
   participatory decision making (do all face same payoffs?)
• Understand which factors influence decisions to pursue
            Policy Implications
In an age of increasingly participatory development policy…

•   Payoffs are important

•   But most importantly, ownership is likely to be a vital
    cleavage around which decisions to participate are made

•   Findings likely to hold more broadly since, theory suggests,
    ownership lowers the cost of pursuing “voice”…
        Owners have greater connection/responsibility to place
        Owners have greater belief in efficacy of action

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