Vanishing herds: Cattle rustling in East Africa and the Horn

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Cattle rustling, a term widely accepted to mean livestock theft, has become a widespread and sometimes lethal practice in East Africa and the Horn of Africa regions. Once a traditional practice among nomadic communities, it has now become commercialised by criminal networks that often span communal and international borders and involve a wide range of perpetrators. This paper explores reasons why the problem persists despite national and regional efforts to stem it and suggests some practical ways of managing it.

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