Elders now want peace committees for Wajir and Garissa County formed

Dubat Amey addressing the press at a past function (file)

A section of elders from Garissa county now want Garissa governor Ali Korane and his Wajir counterpart Mohamud Mohamed to urgently form peace committees similar to the one launched by Mandera county over the weekend.

Talking to KNA on phone today, Kenya livestock marketing council chair Dubat Amey said he has been consulting with like-minded fellow elders from various clans in Garissa county and at least 10 of them are in agreement that the two counties need serious peace committees similar to that of Mandera.

Amey said that it’s in public domain that clan conflicts in the 3 counties of Mandera Wajir and Garissa which mainly revolve around disputed boundaries, competition for water and pasture for livestock are common and has resulted in bloody clan conflicts in the past.

At the weekend a 21-member team comprising elders from Garre and Murule clans, officials from the county and national governments and the cohesion commission was created following four days of peace talks.

The two clans have been fighting and attackers from both sides torched and destroyed houses in recent fighting over the disputed boundary between Lafey and Mandera South. 

Amey said it is time such a committee is formed with a clear mandate of bringing together clans and resolving conflicts before they turn violent.

The chairman said National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) should take the lead and together with the county governments help in forming peace building committees.

“We want the NCIC to take the lead so that the committees are not only recognized by the national government but also get the support they need including financing,” Amey said.

“In the past such committees are only formed when situations have gotten out of hand and in most instances human lives lost and destruction of properties witnessed. We don’t want to fire-fight when we have an opportunity to stop such violence before they occur,” he noted.

Amey hailed Mandera governor Ali Roba, elders of Mandera county and the national government for coming up with the peace committee noting that ‘it will go a long in ending inter-clan conflict in the area’.

“In my view if the committee is well supported, it could be a solution to the elusive peace that the residents of Northern Kenya have been yearning for,” he noted.

Amey further challenged NCIC to do more in terms of promoting peace building not only in Northern Kenya but in the entire county.

“The NCIC has been sleeping on the job. For once they need to be aggressive and reach out to Kenyans with constant messages of peace and the need for communities to co-exist peacefully. If you ask Kenyans, majority of them will tell you that the commission is not doing enough,” the chair said.