Understanding community resilience amidst rising violent conflicts in Tanzania

William J. Walwa


Tanzania is experiencing an upsurge of violent conflicts, some of which have tended to have extremist bearings. Based on a qualitative study in Mwanza and Pwani regions, this paper posits that the relative presence, absence or prolongation of violent incidents in some areas, is best explained by community resilience mechanisms in place to prevent and counter violence. Subsequently, communities that have invested in early warning and response mechanisms are relatively positioned to prevent and counter violent conflicts. In the absence of functional community early warning structures, as is the case in Pwani, it makes it so difficult for the state security organs to interact with communities and gather intelligence security information allowing responding to insecurities. The paper calls for a policy shift to invest in community early warning and response systems as vital forms of resilience to prevent and to counter rising forms of violent conflicts in Tanzania.

Keywords: Tanzania, Resilience, Violent Conflicts, Security, Community

William J. Walwa, Lecturer, University of Dar es Salaam, Email: walwajn@gmail.com

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