Over the past many years, political players in Marsabit have repeatedly employed sharply divisive approaches in the pursuit of political power. Oftentimes, inter and intra-ethnic animosities created by political competitors have persisted long after the elections are concluded. Antagonism, within and between communities, and divisive socio-political discourse have become a way of life in Marsabit.
Now determined to end the recurring cycles of antagonism, I have launched an initiative geared towards creating durable cohesion in Marsabit. Our aim is to put to end all forms of internal divisions that have been created by past political contests as well the existing animosities between various ethnic groups.
We have kick-started this process. Just yesterday, at The Karen Blixen Hotel in Nairobi, I held deliberations with the past and all the current Members of Parliament from Moyale and Saku Constituencies, Chairpeson of Borana Professional Association (BPA) and representatives of business Community. The leaders who attended the meeting included Hon. Dido Ali Rasso (MP Saku), Hon. Qaalich Guffu (MP Moyale), Hon. Naomi Jillo (Nom Senator), Hon. J. J. Falana (Fmr MP Saku), Hon. Roba Duba (Fmr. MP Moyale), Hon Hussein Taari Sasura (Fmr. MP Saku) as well as Hajj Adan Waachu and Hajj Abdub Taari Adhi. The BPA was represented by Suleiman Wako (Chair) and M/s Qabale Tache.
The immediate achievement of The Karen Blixen Meeting was the reconciliation between various elected leaders and competitors whose political contest left behind long-standing acrimonies between themselves and their supporters. All those who competed against each other resolved to bury their past political differences and forge a united approach in pursuit of internal harmony and unity within the community and across the County.
Other important matters discussed and agreed upon included:
- The imperative of building and sustaining inter-ethnic cohesion and harmonious coexistence between all Marsabit communities and the need to cascade this good will from the leaders to the grassroots with the view to entrenching a people-driven and home-grown sustainable solution to the security challenges in Marsabit. The journey to developing a durable peace and cohesion begins by accepting the desperate need for it – That is the most important resolution made during the meeting.
- The security situation in Marsabit and how to support, jointly and severally, all peace-building initiatives and reconciliation efforts by National and County Government and Non-State Actors. In particular, the Borana leaders committed themselves to reach out to all leaders from other all ethnic groups to support and strengthen the on-going conflict-resolution process spearheaded by Marsabit Interfaith Council.
- The discussion on the unfolding National political discourse. In particular, the leaders resolved to rally support behind the Building Bridges Initiative that aims to create a united nation for all Kenyans living today and all future generations.
- The need to bring together all the past and the current elected leaders from other constituencies, reconcile existing differences and to jointly roll out a programme to end all forms of animosities, divisions and antagonisms within and between Marsabit communities. The leaders committed themselves to go out, speak to Marsabit People and listen to them.
With a dedicated effort to strengthen integration in depth and dimension in the days ahead, I am optimistic that powerful consensus will emerge, not only on peace and integration, but also on the better future for Marsabit — A FUTURE for which we are willing to make sacrifices TODAY.
H.E. Mohamud Mohamed Ali