Writing as background for their study Benjaminsen et al (2012) say that “during the last few years, violent land-use conflict in the Sahel has become the most popular example of the alleged link between global climate change and conflict,” noting that “many politicians and international civil servants seem particularly attracted to this idea,” as described in the study of Benjaminsen (2009).
And they indicate that this idea “was also at the core of the decision to award the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to former US vice-president Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
Focusing on an area in the heart of the Sahel – the inland delta of the Niger River in the Mopti region of Mali – in the present study Benjaminsen et al. collected data on land-use conflicts that occurred within that region between 1992 and 2009 from the regional Court of Appeal in Mopti, after which they compared the court data with contemporaneous climatic data. And in a second approach to the subject, they conducted a qualitative analysis of one of the many land-use conflicts in the region: a farmer-herder conflict, where young men from the village of Karbaye fired on a group of herders from the neighboring village of Guirowel, who were bringing livestock to a pond close to their homes, killing as many as five of them and injuring some 15 to 30 others.