The area has long been known for its absence of effective state-provided security since colonial days, owing to its marginality. 'The four comers region of the Ethiopian-Sudan-Ugandan-Kenyan border took on its marginal and interstitial status in large part because being maximally distant from the four centres of economic and political power around which the four states were formed' (Galaty and Bonte, 1991, p. 281). The colonial authorities of Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika saw the pastoralists as not only difficult to administer, owing to their mobility and decentralised and fragmented political systems, but also as resistant to change and violent. Apart from pushing certain groups, like the Maasai, away from the land designated for white agriculture or game parks, they were largely ignored. Confinement to 'native reserves' or just the loss of gazing land, only promoted conflict between pastoralists over water and better pastures. Nor did granting approval for one group to use the grazing land traditionally used by another help relations, as for instance when the Pokot were given Karamojong grazing land (Azarya, 1996, pp. 60-3).