Kabarnet, November 7th 2020 (Governor’s Press Service)

Governor Josphat Nanok has called on leaders from the North Rift region to embrace peace by adopting a peace Caravan strategy in all conflicts prone counties severely hit by cattle rustling menace.   

“No development can take place in areas where the gun is ruling the day and caused mayhem of residents. It is unfair this protracted conflict has uprooted people from their homes living thousands of families in an impoverished condition,” Nanok said.

Addressing leaders from North Rift in Kabarnet in Baringo County on Friday Governor Nanok asked  leaders to join hands and work together to achieve a sustainable peace that will rebuild the lives of residents and those Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) in the region.

During the meeting, the Governor appealed to his Baringo Counterpart Stanley Kiptis  to halt eviction plans of the Turkana and other communities living in  a Prison farm in Marigat on humanitarian grounds and spare the families from a second displacement, since most of them are originally from conflict-prone areas of Turkana East.

The Governor revealed that West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet, and Turkana Counties have enjoyed peaceful coexistence for a three-year period, thanks to the leadership that worked hard to establish peace along the Turkwel Corridor, urging Baringo and Turkana East leadership to emulate these counties.

He further said that Uganda and Turkana border is also benefiting from the cross border peace an initiative that has yielded fruits along the conflicts prone region.

Regional Commissioner for North Rift, George Natembeya warned leaders against sabotaging peace efforts in their respective areas.

Baringo Governor who was the host of the meeting, Stanley Kiptis urged leaders to commit to peace and promote harmonious relationships to achieve socio-economic development that will save North Rift residence from decades of imminent conflicts brought about by continuous cattle theft.

Governor Nanok said that his interest was to see Suguta valley pacified and called on both the MP for Tiaty Constituency William Kamket and his counterpart from Turkana East Ali Lokiru to walk the talks.

However Turkana East MP Ali Lokiru and his counterpart from Tiaty Constituency in Baringo William Kamket vowed to commit to peaceful co-existence among the warring communities by embracing handshake that will bring sanity at bloody hotspot in Suguta valley.

“I will be the biggest beneficiary if peace will be achieved in the volatile areas in Silale in Tiaty Constituency,” Kamket said.

He also called on leaders to support peace efforts through the formation of peace caravans along the conflicts corridor.

On his part, Lokiru affirmed that he had held several discussions with Kamket on several occasions and agreed to give peace a chance by supporting both communities to live peacefully.

North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) Chairman and Uasingishu Governor Jackson Mandago said that insecurity had affected trading activities in the region adding that peace is urgently needed to address poverty levels among residents through establishment of socio-economic projects and exploitation of natural resources.

“Without peace, the region cannot benefit from its natural resources. Leaders who will not back peace efforts should be cursed so that a new crop of leaders is given a chance to achieve peace to promote the socio-economic welfare of the citizens,” Mandago said.

In the meeting, the leaders agreed to shun inciteful leaders  who are  using  conflict as a tool to gain cheap popularity in winning votes during elections.

The Chairman of Turkana MPs Caucus Christopher Nakuleu said that though the land is an emotive issue any Kenyan can live anywhere by law and receive services wherever they are settled without renaming areas and staging false claims, thus causing animosity.

The Speaker of Turkana County Assembly, Ekitela Lokaale who led a delegation of MCAs, asked leaders to recognize the efforts of MCAs in the peace process as they are available at the grass-root level.

Lokaale said two months ago he hosted West Pokot County Assembly in Lodwar  as a show of peaceful relationship, adding that he  will  in future host Baringo County Assembly to showcase peaceful co-existence as well among leaders.

Turkana Woman MP, Joyce Emanikor urged leaders to include women in the peacemaking process because women have suffered the brunt of conflict as victims of cattle raids.

Leaders who spoke and were present during the meeting was West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo, Deputy Governor for Elgeyo Marakwet Wesley Rotich, Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis, and Uasingishu Governor Jackson Mandago, Turkana Senator Malachy Ekal ,MPs from Turkana; Christopher Nakuleu (North), John Lodepe (Central), Daniel Epuyo (Turkana West), Joyce Emanikor (Woman MP), James Lomenen (South), Jeremiah Lomorukai (Loima), Ali Lokiru (Turkana East), Turkana MCAs were led by Speaker Ekitela Lokaale, Majority Leader Bethuel Kobongin (Songot Ward), Dorcas Epusiye Chairperson (Women Caucus), Peace Committee Members in the assembly  and a host of MCAs.

The meeting was also addressed by MPs, MCAs and officials from the National Government led by RC Natembeya and Security Organs. Samburu and Laikipia were also represented.

County Secretary Peter Eripete led County Government Senior officials including; Erastus Ethekon (County Attorney), CEC Benson Lokwang (Public Service and Disaster Management), Chief of Staff Ekuwam Nakiporo, Augustine Lokwang (Senior Security Advisor and Borderline Initiatives), Phoebe Kaaman (Advisor Partnership, Gender and Children Affairs), Rebecca Lowoiya (Political and Inter-Governmental Relations, John Lokoli (Acting Director for Peace) and Chris Eregae (Deputy Director for Adminstration).

The meeting resolved to continue with joint peace meetings in all affected areas within three months starting from Kapedo next week.

Some of the Key issues which will be undertaken include the  establishment security roads, ensure free movement of people with police escorts until normalcy returns.

The meeting also resolved to provide social amenities, the motivation of peace champions in all areas affected by the conflict, establish peace and border committees, creation of markets days, a crackdown on illegal arms and intensify patrols, implementation presidential directives on roads (Chemelingot-Lokichar Road of 2018), improve absenteeism of chiefs from workstations, chiefs vacancies to be filled, arrest, and prosecute cattle rustlers.