By December 20, 2020 August 8th, 2023 No Comments



By: Patrick Devine, PhD

The Turkanas and Dassanechs are nationals of Kenya and Ethiopia respectively. These multi-ethnic nations have undergone and still are undergoing development changes since the mid-20th century. Such change usually leaves behind some individuals, groups, or sections of the national population. The above ethnic communities have been left behind by the change in question. These pastoral neighbouring communities live in a very harsh physical environment where they are exposed to the vagaries of climate/weather and their consequences – drought, occasional floods, famine, preventable ailments, livestock epidemic diseases and deaths, in the face of resource scarcity. These communities live in a region that is quite remote from capital cites which, of course, are the centres of national polity and economy. The region includes a large territorial area of 14,000 square kilometres usually referred to as the Ilemi Triangle, whose ownership is contested by countries which surround it, namely Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia. The contest of ownership is particularly explicit between Kenya and Sudan. Ethiopia’s claim of ownership is implicit, so to speak, and stems from the claim, if not fact, that the territorial area of the Nyangatom ethnic community which is Ethiopian includes a small part of the Ilemi. The Ilemi region is utilized by both the Turkana and Dassanech for the pasture irrespective of claims and counter-claims of its ownership. By and large there is no state presence manifested by provision of political public goods. Overall, there is no de jure administrative authority. This is an enticement to intercommunal violent conflict – Turkana-Dassanech in this case – with Ilemi and its environs as the platform. The foregoing constitutes the background (the exogenous variable in the language of path analysis) of Turkana-Dassanech conflict as depicted in this research communication.

Read the whole publication in the HIPSIR Peace Dialogue Journal, Click the following link;


(Supervisors were Prof. Wanakayi K Omoka and Prof. Robert Mudida, Hekima University College (Catholic University of Eastern Africa)


Brief Bio of Rev. Dr. Patrick Richard Devine

Fr. Devine, holds an MA in Peace Studies and International Relations, and a PhD in Political Science and Public Administration.  He is the founder of the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR), an inter-religious organization of men and women pioneering conflict transformation and development work in strife, terrorism and poverty ridden areas of Eastern Africa.  The vision is a society where peace, justice and reconciliation prevails throughout Africa. In Shalom-SCCRR, highly qualified staff conducts empirical research on the root causes of inter-ethnic conflicts, religious ideological extremism and violence against women and children, organizes workshops to facilitate conflict transformation and reconciliation between factions, empowers and trains local peace-builders, and construct-develops inter-ethnic and inter-religious schools, providing them with solar energy and all other necessary amenities. The mission is to work towards a society free of physical violence and unjust social structures in Africa. Seeking to further share the Shalom Center’s peace-building methodology, Fr. Patrick signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) on behalf of the organization with academic institutions such as the Edward Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention. Maynooth University; Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University Belfast, N. Ireland, Tangaza University Kenya, and with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Associate Members of Episcopal Conferences of East Africa (AMECEA).

International recognition for Fr. Patrick’s efforts occurred when the Caring Institute Trustees, Chaired by Senators Robert J. Dole and Thomas Daschle awarded him the 2013 International Caring Award, succeeding the Dalai Lama in 2012. Other notable recipients include Jimmy Carter, Mother Theresa, Colin Powell, George Mitchell, Bill Clinton and Pope Francis.  He was inducted into the Caring Hall of Fame at the Frederick Douglass Museum in Washington D.C. In 2013, Fr. Patrick addressed the William J. Clinton International Peace Centre in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. In 2014, eight countries in Eastern Africa presented him with the prestigious IGAD Award for his visionary contribution to peace and development in the region and nominated for the Tipperary Peace Prize in 2017.  Between 2013 and 2022 he has been invited to present lectures on issues of the humanitarian-peace-development nexus,  conflict transformation, peacebuilding, religious ideological extremism, radicalization and terrorism etc., to the Edward M Kennedy for Conflict Intervention Maynooth University Ireland, Harvard Law School-Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen University Belfast, the World Bank in Nairobi, Irish Embassy Washington D.C, to an audience of diplomats, peace practitioners, security-intelligence personnel, victims of terrorism etc.  University of Texas Austin, DePaul University, Chicago, Maynooth University, Ireland in conjunction with the Irish Defence Forces (The Lieutenant General Dermot Earley Memorial Lecture), University of San Diego, and the Kennedy School of Public Policy, Harvard in 2022 (Postponed in 2020 due to Covid-19)

A native of Ireland, Fr. Patrick’s work in eastern Africa began in 1988 when he went to western Tanzania with the Society of African Missions (SMA). He held leadership roles for the organization in Kenya and Tanzania from 1992-2007. In the aftermath of the Rwanda genocide he coordinated the pastoral care input of the SMA to the refugees in western Tanzania from 1994-98. He is a past chairman and Secretary General of the Religious Superiors Conference of Kenya (2005-2012) who have over 6,000 personnel based in Eastern Africa.  For 13 years he lectured on Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Tangaza University College, Kenya, (constituent College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa); he is now a member of the independent Tangaza University Council, holding the position of Vice Chairman and Chairman of Corporate Affairs. SHALOM (SCCRR) is registered in Kenya, UK-N. Ireland, Republic of Ireland and the USA (501c3); groups of supporters in other countries in and outside Africa have begun exploring the process of registration.

“The importance of empowering communities in zones of manifest conflict and structural violence (all easily vulnerable to numerous forms of radicalisation and extremism also) with both the appropriate analytical skills about what is causing conflict and the applicable peacebuilding transformation techniques, cannot be overstated” Patrick Richard Devine, PhD 


See also:

Shalom Center

Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation - contact Fr. Oliver Noonan for more information.

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