Wednesday 14 June
Nairobi, Kenya

This panel session was centred on how non-state actors operate in borderlands – including how women are deployed across borders – and state and regional responses. The focus was on Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and northern Mozambique.

Listen to the full panel session

XCEPT · Panel Session 7: Armed Actors Across Porous Borders

Panellist Spotlight: Stephen Buchanan-Clarke

Panellist Spotlight: Orly Stern


Tobias Hagmann – swisspeace and the Rift Valley Institute

Dr Tobias Hagmann is a Senior Program Officer at swisspeace, Basel and a Fellow with the Rift Valley Institute. He has 25 years of experience in academic and applied research on politics and trade in the Horn of Africa. He led a six-year collaborative research project on trade and state-making in the Somali territories (2013-2019) and also led parts of the Somalia-focused work by XCEPT’s X-Border Local Research Network. He is a former associate professor of Development Studies at Roskilde University in Denmark, Public Policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and an editorial board member of African Affairs.


Stephen Buchanan-Clarke – Good Governance Africa

Stephen Buchanan-Clarke is a security analyst and development advisor specializing in counterterrorism, transnational organized crime, and security sector governance in Africa. He is the Head of Good Governance Africa’s Human Security and Climate Change Programme and serves on the secretariat of the Peacemaking Advisory Group (PAG) – a regional, civil society-led initiative actively involved in conflict mediation efforts on the continent. Before this, Stephen was a senior researcher at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, where he managed the Institute’s Countering Violent Extremism in Southern Africa Programme. Stephen has written extensively on security and development issues on the continent and is the editor of the Extremisms in Africa anthology series. Stephen is leading research by Good Governance Africa on northern Mozambique under the XCEPT Research Fund.

Nisar Majid – London School of Economic and Political Science

Dr Nisar Majid is the Somalia Research Director within the LSE’s Conflict and Civicness Research Group, which belongs to thePeace and Conflict Resolution Evidence Platform (PeaceRep). He began working in and on the Horn of Africa, particularly the Somali-speaking regions, in the late 1990s. His work has covered food security and famine, humanitarianism, political economy analysis and Somali transnationalism. He co-authored the book Famine in Somalia: Competing Imperatives, Collective Failures, 2011/12, and he was the Research Director (Somalia) at the LSE Conflict Research Programme from 2018 to 2021.

Orly Stern – XCEPT Research Fund

Dr Orly Stern is a researcher, consultant and international lawyer, focusing on armed conflict, gender, security and law. Orly worked and researched in countries including Somalia, Iraq, northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Central African Republic. She consulted for various international organisations, governments, research institutions and NGOs, and has published extensively in her field. Orly holds a PhD in international humanitarian law from London School of Economics, and a Masters from Harvard Law School. She served as a visiting fellow with the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government and has held a senior fellowship with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative at the Harvard School for Public Health. Her book, ‘Gender, Conflict and International Humanitarian Law: A Critique of the Principle of Distinction’, was awarded the International Committee of the Red Cross’ inaugural prize for the best published work on international humanitarian law in Africa. Orly is undertaking research on women across borders in conflict under the XCEPT Research Fund.