Conflicts have been the main challenges facing pastoral societies in Somali region of Ethiopia. Accordingly, this study attempts to explore the nature of pastoral conflicts and its management in Siti zone of Somali regional state. The study has been designed based on qualitative research methods with different data collection techniques. The findings of the study show that there are various types of pastoral conflicts including intra-zonal, inter-regional and inter-state pastoral conflicts. The pastoral conflicts in Somali region reflect how environmental change affects the intensity of pastoral conflicts in the study area-the nexus between drought and conflict. Although there exists environmental, demographic, socio-cultural and political factors, drought has been the major factor for pastoral conflicts as it increases mobility, resource scarcity and the competition for water and grazing land. The trend of pastoral conflict management in Siti zone is quite unique with the prevalence of traditional/customary mechanisms which are more influential and acceptable than the formal system. The pastoral conflicts are managed through a combination of the formal state institutions and indigenous Xeer system. While the police and security sectors undertake the first intervention to stop the conflict, clan leaders and elders plays a leading role in the mediation and resolution process of the conflict based on Xeer system. Finally, the study has identified certain case studies of pastoral conflict and its management in Siti zone of Somali regional State.
Keywords: Conflict, Conflict Management, Pastoral Conflict, Peace, Siti Zone, Somali region, Ethiopia