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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Forced villagization during the 'shifta' conflict in Kenya, ca. 1963-1968
Author:Whittaker, Hannah
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies (ISSN 0361-7882)
Geographic term:Kenya
Abstract:In June 1966, the Kenyan government adopted a policy of forced villagization in the former Northern Frontier District (NFD). It required all people living within these NFD areas to reside within designated government villages under security guard. However, by September 1967 only about half of the total population of the NFD were successfully villagized. Villagization served two purposes: the Kenyan government argued that this would facilitate security force operations against 'shifta' (or bandit, rebel) insurgents and win the hearts and minds of northern Kenyans through village development projects. This article starts by examining the roots of villagization in northern Kenya in the context of the 'shifta' conflict and the measures taken by the Kenyan government to defeat militant secessionism. The article then moves on to consider the 1966 villagization campaign in northern Kenya in detail. Finally, it addresses the experience of villagization. Through an analysis of the language used by the people of northern Kenya to describe government villages, it is clear that they were regarded as 'prisons'. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]