Mc Evoy (2008). Gauging Fear and Insecurity: Perspectives on Armed Violence in Eastern Equatoria and Turkana North
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Eastern Equatoria State in South Sudan and Turkana North District in neighbouring Kenya lie in one of the most conflict-prone regions in the East and Horn of Africa, where the use of firearms is endemic. The Small Arms Survey conducted a household survey in this region in mid-2007 to gather data on levels of firearm-related victimization, and to explore actual and perceived security threats as well as attitudes towards disarmament. It found that insecurity, mostly related to cattle rustling, was rife and that dependency on firearmswas widespread. Significantly, it found that both actual and perceived levels of insecurity were significantly worse on the Kenyan side of the border than they were in South Sudan, which is recovering from a 21-year civil war. The paper presents the survey findings and provides a broad contextual analysis of the local dynamics that give rise to insecurity, including competition for land and natural resources, inter-ethnic rivalry, poor governance, and armed group activity. In addition, it discusses government-led violence-reduction initiatives in the region, namely the disarmament of pastoralist communities, highlighting the security risks attached to ad hoc, short-term disarmament campaigns.