Pastoralist communities asked to embrace peaceful coexistence

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has for the last one week held sensitization forums aimed at promoting peaceful co-existence of communities living in Marsabit County.

The government has subsequently put on hold the establishment of 40 administrative units it gazetted in June 21, 2017, after two communities differed on the administrative boundaries.

The NCIC Commissioner, Adan Mohamed cited scarce resources, political leaders, differences in political and economic ideologies as the main obstacles to the harmonious co-existence among pastoralist communities in the county.

Adan also pointed at hate speech and incitement to violence mainly in political rallies and the social media as cause of communal tension between communities, which at times escalates to violence.

Speaking at a local hotel during a peace meeting between members of the Borana and Gabra communities, he said it was important to put in place measures for a lasting solution to the issues that undermine peace in the county.

This follows building tensions in Elle-Dimtu Cconservancy area, which straddles the boundary between Moyale and North Horr constituencies, after herders from Sololo moved to the strategic grazing area with threats of settling there permanently.

A similar move by herders from Saku constituency has also been made, where they allegedly forcefully moved into Mude area, another grazing reserve in Bubisa location of North Horr constituency, eliciting tension.

The meeting attended by political leaders, among them North Horr MP, Chachu Ganya and his Moyale counterpart, Qalicha Wario, and chaired by Marsabit Central DCC, Joseph Nyakwara demanded that elected leaders commit themselves to a peace process and avoid any actions that might undermine the work of the NCIC.

It was also resolved that the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination, in conjunction with NCIC, will as a matter of urgency, seek the intervention of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Land Commission, in undertaking a survey and mapping exercise in the disputed areas.

The participants, through the guidance of the commission, further committed themselves to uphold peace by ceasing the use of derogatory language against each other, besides continued access and use of water and pasture.

The commissioner challenged the political leadership in the county which he believed has the capacity to offer solutions to the concerns affecting peace in the region.

Solution to the issues cited will be home grown and not a blue print solution said Adan, who asked the stakeholders to reconcile and push for harmony.

Nyakwara said the government had established that disputes along administrative boundaries bordered on attempts by communities to expand into grazing and other seemingly resourceful areas hence raising tensions, and eventually conflicts between the nomadic communities.

The DCC said operationalizing of the newly created units has been put on hold until the misunderstanding is resolved.

Ganya, on his part called on the government to move with speed and ascertain the administrative unit boundaries in order to create a conducive environment for growth.

Source: Kenya News Agency