An elder addressing issues that affect peace and cohesion in Marti, Samburu North sub-county on Saturday 20th January, 2018
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission through Civic Education and Advocacy Department,CEAD, held a series of peace and security meetings in Samburu North Sub-county, targeting elders and security officers. The meetings which were held in four locations of Marti, Masikita, Longetei and Baragoi, between 19th to 24th January, 2018 reached out to a total of 240 elders and 50 security officers.
The objective of the peace and security meetings was to promote cohesion and peaceful coexistence among the Samburu and Turkana communities living in Samburu North. The two communities have experienced decade-old tensions with each side in fear of being ambushed or suffering retaliatory attacks.
The peace and security meetings were attended by the Commission staff, led by CEAD Senior Programs Officer, Mr. Richard Nderitu. Leaders from the region were also in attendance, including Samburu County Woman Representative Hon. Maison Leshomo, Senator Hon. Lelegwe Steve Ltumbesi, Samburu North Member of Parliament Hon. Alois Lentoimaga, Baragoi MCA Hon. Peter Lempei, Samburu North Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Charles Mwayaya and Assistant County Commissioner Mr. Jared Owino.
The leaders tackled issues raised by the elders concerning livestock theft, prejudice in conflict resolution processes, resource-based conflict as a result of long dry spells in the region, with the pastoralists communities conflicting over grazing lands and water. Through dialogue, the parties involved agreed to revive grazing committees in order to resolve the recurrent issues. The residents also accused Kenya Police Reservists(KPR) of conducting raids on their neighbours using government fire arms, a case that predominantly affected Marti location. All the parties concurred with the idea of involving credible leaders in the recruitment of Kenya Police Reservists to ensure equality and accountability in the process.
The Commission sensitized more than 240 elders on the need to have peace and security in the region, providing a chance for the region to realize their development goals. NCIC encouraged young people to embrace peace and cohesion and urged them to share available resources. The forums brought afore the fact that conflict and insecurity were synonymous with inadequate resources and it is paramount that stakeholders come together and put in place strategies that will promote sustainable peace among the pastoralist communities.