Moyale clashes are political, says Kibunjia

January 8, 2012 2:38 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) says the ethnic violence experienced in parts of Northern Kenya is directly linked to the general election.

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

“NCIC has been to Isiolo and Moyale and has established that the ongoing violent conflicts are politically motivated in anticipation of the 2012 elections,” Kibunjia told a press conference on Sunday.

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.

“In line with the aforesaid, the conflicts in Northern Kenya must be treated as electoral related and not dismissed as conflict over water, pasture and cattle rustling,” he warned.

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

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

“NCIC will continue to document and work closely with law enforcement agencies, faith based organizations, civil society and the private sector to promote and facilitate harmonious and peaceful coexistence,” Kibunjia said.

Having studied previous reports documented on causes of violence and conflicts in Rift Valley and other parts of the country, Kibunjia said his commission is identifying areas considered hotspots ahead of the elections.

“It is important that security agencies must link consistent early warning to early response equally and distribute resources to quell tensions in all hot spot areas as identified in numerous reports,” he said.
The commission is now urging the Gabra and Borana community leaders to give dialogue a chance and cease hostilities.

“We have initiated dialogues in previous meetings on Moyale which culminated in the signing of a resolution by Gabra and Borana opinion leaders,” he said referring to a resolution penned on December 11th 2011.

The resolution arrived at after a meeting held at the Bomas of Kenya in the capital Nairobi was signed by eight Borana leaders and seven of their counterparts from the Gabra community.

“We regret the senseless loss of life and wanton destruction of property in Moyale recently and condemn the perpetrators, in the strongest terms and we urge for the immediate cessation of hostilities and ask all and sundry to give room to dialogue,” part of the past resolution reads.


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