NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – A ceasefire agreement negotiated by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) between the Turkana and Samburu communities living in Baragoi has set a communal penalty of 50 cows for each life lost in conflict between the two communities.
The two pastoralist communities who engage in cattle rustling that often results in the loss of human life have also agreed to pay back double the number of animals stolen.
Despite the communal nature of these penalties, the two communities have resolved that the individuals responsible for breaking said ceasefire should face prosecution and their crimes, “must not be attributed to entire communities.”
They also resolved to return the arms stolen from the close to 50 police officers killed in the Suguta Valley in 2012 – majority of them new recruits – in one of the worst attacks on security forces in Kenya’s history.
READ: 4 more bodies found after Suguta attack
The Turkana and Samburu have also agreed to “cease using derogatory and humiliating names against each other.”
They also resolved to respect each others’ grazing zones.
In turn from the national and county governments, they have required the fair issuance of National Identity cards and an equitable sharing of resources which they say have contributed to the conflict between the two communities.
“Members of Turkana community be allowed to access the Maralal business opportunities including the slaughter house,” reads one of the resolutions.
They have also demanded the re-opening of schools and construction of roads to ensure the speedy response of security agencies to conflict.
They accused said security agencies of, “generally failing to protect the lives and properties of the citizens as required of them under the Constitution,” and required them to act on intelligence from the public and preserve the confidentiality of their sources.
The two communities also want their, “warriors,” better occupied through their absorption into the National Youth Service.
“Elites” have been cautioned against instigating violence through hate messages and “rumours” on social media while Turkana professionals have been called on to avoid meddling in the affairs of the Samburu county government under which Baragoi falls.
The agreement was reached following three days of negotiations between the communities’ leaders, the NCIC, Members of Parliament in the committees responsible for cohesion and security and members of the Samburu county government.