Leaders urged to lead peace efforts in Kisumu Nandi border feud

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi has called on the political leadership in the feuding Nandi and Kisumu Counties to take a prominent role in scaling down border conflict among communities along the counties’ common border.

Dr. Matiang’i told the leaders that a united front of the leaders against poverty and other issues cutting across the communities would help to build bridges and encourage inter communal integration thereby averting further wrangling.

The CS was speaking in Nakuru today at a cohesion building colloquium between peace elders from Nandi and Kisumu Counties convened by his ministry.

Matiangi observed that a united bid to empower youth in the areas will provide the desired clout to sustainable peace which he says will pave way for mutually beneficial relations that are conducive for cohesive development.

He further said that the Government in collaboration with the political leadership in both counties will prop up a joint peace building drive in volatile areas in the regions in weeks to come in a move aimed at encouraging stakeholders to foster peace.

He used the occasion to caution politicians in the areas against making political capital out of the border skirmishes saying this amounts to incitement which is punishable by law.

The Government brokered meeting comes weeks after communities residing on the controversial border engaged in days of bickering over grazing areas, water sources and what was reported to be an intractable spate of cattle rustling.

Last year, the skirmishes that polarized the two counties led to loss of one life, scores of injuries and displacements threatening to destroy previously cordial ties between the two counties.

The CS asked the peace elders to use their peace caravans to preach peace and ask members of the communities that have been locked in months of acrimony to submit their boundary grievances to relevant institutions like the National Land Commission and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for redress.

Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyongo blamed the squabbling on high unemployment among the youth in the area saying the conflict is increasingly ruining his governments vision for the area affected by the conflict.

Prof. Nyong’o called on the Nandi Governor Stephen Sang to join him in expediting the initiative to begin the Lake region development program which he hopes will help open multiple joint economic empowerment opportunities for youth in the effort of forestalling crime in the area.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang welcomed the joint empowerment initiative saying it will be invaluable in curbing conflict in the region where peace and meaningful development have been elusive for years.

The two governors called on the implementation of resolutions stemming from past cohesion building talks between the two Counties.

Source: Kenya News Agency