In an effort to end skirmishes in border disputes between communities residing within Isiolo and Garissa counties, the Commission together with the office of the Regional and County Commissioners in the respective counties and regions conducted peace and security situational analysis meetings in the wake of recent rising hostilities and skirmishes.
The Commission together with its partners Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) and Drylands Learning Capacity Building Initiative (DCLI) on Monday had a peace and security meeting for Garissa and Isiolo Counties. The meeting was also graced by top security chiefs’ and members of the political class from both Counties.
American writer John Steinbeck once said war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal. These words aptly capture what is ailing Northern Kenya where neighbours kill each other as if it is the fashionable thing to do.
Only last week more than 10 people were killed following skirmishes between people from Garissa and Isiolo counties. These are human lives lost. Being a country governed by the rule of law, it is prudent that even those masterminding the heinous crime be subjected to the criminal justice system.
The situation is untenable, but it is made worse by reckless statements from politicians, who seem hellbent on seeing innocent bloodshed instead of finding ways of brokering peace.
The government needs to take serious action against such politicians and drive the message home—that recklessness will not be tolerated, especially with slightly over a year to the 2022 general election.
The residents being encouraged to wage war on each other need to learn than when fighting breaks out, it is the common man who will suffer. So before you blindly follow failed politicians keen to pass off as genuine leaders think twice.
The objective of the meeting was to review the peace and security situation in the two regions and explore the necessary interventions in the promotion of lasting peace and cohesion in the two counties.
Top Security honchos who attended the meeting include; Regional Commissioner for North Eastern Nicodemus Musyoki Ndalana, Eastern Regional Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru, Garissa County Commissioner Meru Mwangi and Isiolo County Commissioner Herman Shambi. It was also graced by high profile security bigwigs from Harambee House, Senior Security agencies and National Cohesion and Integration Commission Senior Officers and NCIC Commissioners.
Among those who attended the meeting include former Garissa County Gov. Nadhif Jama who called for restraints on the brewing tension between Isiolo-Garissa Counties. The former Garissa Governor was pretty diplomatic in his approach after he attended a meeting organised for leaders from both counties by NCIC. Garissa Governor Ali Korane who caused the storm failed to turn up for the crucial meeting. Hon. Jama blamed his colleagues from Garissa counties who snubbed the meeting. The meeting was also attended by former majority leader in the National Assembly and current PPG Patron Hon. Aden Duale (Garissa Township MP), Hon. H.E Dr. Abdi Issa (Deputy Governor, Isiolo) who represented the Governor who was unwell, Hon. Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo Senator), Hon. Rehema Jaldesa (Isiolo CWR), Hon. Abshiro Halakhe (Nominated Senator), Hon. Sofia Abdi Noor (Ijara MP), Hon Hassan Odha (Isiolo North MP), Hon. Abdi Koropu (Isiolo South MP), Hon. Abdikari Osman Omar (Fafi MP) and Samburu North MP Alois Lentoimaga who doubles up as Chair of Pastoralists Parliamentary Group (PPG).
Among key issues deliberated include;
- These persistent attacks took place within Isiolo Country territory;
- Politicians and leaders such as Governor Korane to desist from inciting his communities and issuing threats, the National Government should take appropriate legal action against him;
- Disarmament/registration exercise on illicit arms held by local communities to continue and National Police Reservists to be recruited, trained and issued with firearms for Isiolo communities who have been disarmed;
- On the issue of illegal settlement, Regional Coordinators from both North Eastern and Eastern regions to create a special committee comprising of elders, religious leaders, Chiefs, national government officials, political leaders from both counties to look into the issue of illegal settlements. Chiefs from Garissa County should vacate from administrative areas within Isiolo County;
- On the issue of Boundary disputes respective Regional Coordinators from both North Eastern and Eastern regions to address the matter immediately and no further developments on disputed areas until a resolution is finally reached; and
- On Attacks and Retaliatory Attacks and Compensation:
- Existing traditional dispute resolution mechanisms like the Modogashe Declaration 2011 be reviewed and enforced when addressing compensation of loss of lives, stolen livestock and destruction of property;
- Previous Nanyuki Peace Agreements (2016), Nanyuki Accord of 2018 and 2019 be adhered to;
- The National Government to equally take action against culprits involved;
- Leaders from both communities to engage in inter-communal dialogues to reduce the existing tensions and avert further attacks and counter-attacks; and
- Security agencies to act on Early Warning information given by the community and the political leaders make follow-ups/implement recommendations made thereof
As American linguist, Noam Chomsky said, “As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.”
Consequently, The meeting was postponed to a later date where all leaders will be present for definitive, holistic and conclusive approach.