, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Leaders who have been negotiating peace between the Garre and Degodia communities have urged the government to deploy more security and humanitarian aid to the affected people.
Speaking after holding a closed-door meeting in Nairobi, Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji said although normalcy had returned to the affected region, victims of the violence required to continue being supported with food and other basic requirements based on assessments by members of the mediation team.
“We are concerned about this situation and the effect on women, children and vulnerable persons. We call for the immediate supply of food, non-food items and resettlement of displaced persons,” he asserted as he requested the government to re-open schools as promised by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he met leaders from the area.
Haji said the leaders will follow up with the government so that more security is deployed to the area to ensure peace between the warring communities.
According to the mediation team, currently there is inadequate security. “It is also noted that there is a gap in the deployment of security personnel to the affected areas. The mediation team will take up the matter with the relevant government agencies to ensure the deployment is completed.”
Despite hiccups in restoring peace, Haji appreciated that big steps had been made by the leaders and the two communities in stopping the clashes.
“Through the peace efforts there are signs of normalcy including accessibility of roads to trading centres in major towns. We are cognizant of the fact that attainment to lasting peace is a process and the foundation has now been laid. We look forward to further cooperation between the leadership of the clans and the government to further strengthen peace.”
Hostilities between the rival Garre and Degodia communities has claimed the lives of dozens in Mandera and Wajir over the past few months.
Last month, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo issued a warning to leaders from the area after a spate of ethnic clashes between rival communities in Mandera and Wajir that left dozens killed, injured and displaced.
Kimaiyo said he believed the attacks were being orchestrated and funded by local leaders intent on causing chaos but this was rejected.
After the clashes, leaders from the area formed a mediation team to negotiate peace between Garre and Degodia.
The team has held several meetings to address the crisis and will continue to do so until peace is restored in the region.