Nomad-settler conflict in Afghanistan today

Antonio Giustozzi
Content Type
Research Paper
Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)
Conflict between nomads and settlers appeared repeatedly in the media in Afghanistan and elsewhere after 2001, but it has rarely been studied systematically. In order to fill this gap, AREU launched a three-pronged research project on Natural Resources Management (NRM) in December 2016 supported by the EU. The purpose of this paper is primarily to inform and update policymaking on matters related to nomad-settler conflict in Afghanistan, as well as to lay the foundations for future research efforts. It provides a first, and necessarily mapped, assessment of the conflict and of resolution efforts as they stood in 2017—2019. The study looks at the several drivers of nomad-settler conflict, including the opacity around the Pastures Law, the government weakness, or demographic pressure over a scarcer irrigated land. It then looks at past conflict resolution efforts and their limited impact, before formulating recommendations around hybrid solutions where the state would play only a limited role. It also discusses possible options for future, improved resolution efforts.
Natural Resources, Governance, Conflict, Public Policy, Land, Nomad
Political Geography
Afghanistan, South Asia