Warring Marsabit residents commit to end tribal wars
The long search of elusive peace in Marsabit county is finally bearing fruit after communities agreed to end conflicts and co-exist.
During a three-day peace meeting at the Jirme Hotel, and which was spearheaded by State agencies and other stakeholders, forum urged the residents to embrace mutual trust and end perpetual clashes that have led to deaths and destruction of property.
At the same time, they cautioned that a military operation could be unleashed should the warring groups fail to reconcile.
The peace building meeting, which ended yesterday was sponsored by the Northern Rangelands Trust.
It was spearheaded by former National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Francis Ole Kaparo.
The leaders agreed that those displaced in recent ethnic conflicts that rocked Marsabit Central sub-county should immediately return to their homes.
The session, which carefully sought to unearth the basis of the persistent fights, saw representatives from all pastoralist communities commit towards sustainable peace.
Participants were drawn from various peace committee members from the four constituencies of North Horr, Saku, Laisamis and Moyale and chiefs.
They also resolved to foster good neighbourliness between communities through cessation of livestock theft activities.
Communities including Borana, Gabra, Rendille and Bulji among others have pitted each other over cattle rustling, grazing resources, traditional land boundary disputes and supremacy battles leading to wanton loss of lives, property and general disruption of life over the years.
Led by Pius Yattani and Halakhe Wako, the community representatives appealed to well wishers to assist in re-settling the displaced persons and called for the arrest and prosecution of criminals behind the recent mayhem.
They further called on local authorities to ban boda boda operations at night in Marsabit town and its environs, claiming that they were being hired to transport armed criminals.
“We want motorcycles, which we are convinced are being used to ferry armed criminals barred from operating between 8pm and 6am,” said Wako.
In his remarks, Kaparo expressed optimism that roadmap to a lasting solution to the insecurity problem in Marsabit was finally on course.
The former National Assembly Speaker cautioned that a military operation to flush out armed criminals and mop up illegal firearms could befall the county if the residents failed to heed the call to shun hatred and coexist in harmony.
“Parliament had given a go ahead for a military operation when this kind of volatile situation rocked Moyale eight years ago, but President Uhuru Kenyatta advised for a cordial approach to the problem,” he said. -KNA