Using technology to stop "cattle-rustling"
Maasai tribesman with traditional Maasia knife next to his cell phone. (Courtesy: Sarah Arkin)
September 28th, 2011
10:14 AM ET

Using technology to stop "cattle-rustling"

Editor’s Note: Sarah Arkin is a freelance journalist and a graduate student at Georgetown University. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By Sarah Arkin - Special to CNN

“We don’t steal cattle,” said Benson, a Maasai in the south of Kenya. Instead, he explained, they merely recover them. The Maasai believe that Ngai, their God, blessed the Maasai people with cattle “herding,” and only they are allowed to do it. Of course, the government of Kenya, not to mention other pastoralist tribes throughout the country who also rely on cattle and other livestock for their way of life, don’t find this a compelling argument.

Cattle-rustling, a catch-all term which in includes the pillaging and pilfering of cattle, sheep, goats and camel is pervasive throughout Kenya, and in the Rift Valley in particular. Though pastoralists have been stealing each other’s livestock in a never-ending pattern of “revenge attacks” for centuries, the introduction of small arms, primarily AK-47s and other unreliable soviet-era weapons has increased violence and the death toll of such raids. FULL POST

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Topics: Africa • Animals • Innovation