Leaders in conflict zones must dialogue – Kuti

January 31, 2012 2:33 pm


Livestock Minister Mohammed Kuti/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31 – Livestock Development Minister Mohamed Kuti says the situation in Moyale has improved following the last incident where dozens of people died following fierce fighting between the Gabra and Borana communities.

Speaking on Tuesday during a press conference, Kuti said despite this, the situation still remains tense and called for continuous dialogue between the pastoralist communities living there.

He further stated that the government has also beefed up security in the area to ensure peace prevails.

“The government has sent adequate security on the ground and I would like to urge the communities of the Borana and the Gabra that a million years from now, they will still be living together and the best way to solve conflict is to dialogue among themselves,” he said.

The Livestock Minister emphasised the need for leaders to sensitise the communities on the need for peace.

“The leaders must get together; that is opinion leaders, councillors, former MPs, current MPs and the rest to foster this dialogue,” he said.

“The situation there has now slightly improved. The tension is still there but it is improving slowly by slowly.”

He explained that such incidents as observed in Moyale affected everyone and their livelihoods.

“I really urge that the local people get back to sanity and realise that nobody will leave Moyale. We should do this for the sake of our women and children who are the worst affected by the violence there,” he said.

His sentiments had earlier been echoed by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) which had stated that the ethnic violence experienced in parts of Northern Kenya is directly linked to the general election.

NCIC chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia had warned that unless communities in the region are integrated on time, Kenya will experience the worst violence in the region later this year.

He said his commission had undertaken a proper analysis of the conflict in the affected regions and has no doubt it is related to the general election due later this year.

Communities in Isiolo and Moyale have been at war lately, leading to the deaths of at least 20 people and dozens of people have been injured in the conflict in which several houses were burnt.

Security forces have previously blamed the violence on inter-communal conflicts stemming from pasture and cattle.

The Area District Commissioner had told Capital News that five people had been confirmed dead but area residents put the death toll at over 20.

The area has been hit by sporadic clashes between the two communities since November, and the administrator said the government will continue to lead peace efforts in the region to ensure long lasting peace.

The inter-clan conflict between the Gabra and Boranas had elicited reactions from area leaders with Moyale MP Mohamed Ali Mohamud accusing the government of laxity and failing to contain the situation.

He had urged the government to move fast and stop the ongoing fighting.


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