NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – Unequal allocation of resources, opportunities, clanism and patronage in public appointments have been cited as the main trigger to conflict in marginalised counties.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Francis ole Kaparo called for inclusivity if the counties are to register economic and social development.
“The issue there is the inequitable distribution of political power and also of resources; some places get an undue share of the resources than others. Allocation of opportunities of employment along clan lines, tribes and communities. That has been a trigger for violence in North Eastern,” he said.
Garissa County Senator Yusuf Haji urged the government to crack the whip on politicians whom he claimed had failed to foster peace.
“Members of Parliament who should have taken the spot left by the traditional leaders and sultans have been greatly implicated in this conflict because they are trying to protect a seat yet most of them do not come back,” Senator Haji said.
Wajir County Governor Ahmed Abdullahi said the threat of terror attacks by the Somalia-based Al Shabaab is slowing growth in the counties.
“The only security issue we should discussing as a region is Al Shabaab, terror, radicalization, securing and saving our youth from terror groups – all this other little things that sometimes really become a big boom for us on the ground; clan conflicts over borders, clan conflicts over grazing lands, those are things of yesteryears and we should not be dealing with them today,” Governor Abdulahi said.
They were speaking during the Frontier Counties Development Council forum which is a development bloc for the seven counties.
During the meeting, the seven counties agreed to form county blocks to deal with insecurity, the Al Shabaab, radicalization of youths as well as politics formed on ethnicity.
The region has been plagued with several acts of terror which have forced many non-locals to flee, affecting the education and health sectors.
Many doctors and teachers posted to Garissa, Mandera and Wajir declined to go back over insecurity concerns after dozens of people, mainly non-locals, were killed by Al-Shabaab militants in the recent past.
In May 2015, National Assembly Majority Leader Duale admitted that many young people in Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, Isiolo and Moyale have received radicalization teachings from Al Shabaab operatives in the region.