Community Dialogue for Sustainable Peace in West Pokot and Turkana counties

A resident shares the real issues affecting the two communities

For several years, the semi-arid parts of Northern Kenya have been torn by intertribal warfare. Violence between the two pastoral communities, Pokot and Turkana have caused widespread economic disruption in the area. Some of the main causes of violence have been competition of the scarce resources, organization of aggressive characters in age sets, and the norms and values of warriorhood in the area.

In this regard, the Service Learning team at Tangaza University College in collaboration with the Social Ministry Research Network Centre (SOMINEREC) organized for a Community conversation and Peace Dialogue session. The engagement was set to achieve a sustained dialogue on Conflict Prevention, Social Cohesion and Integration for the residents in the area. The easy access to modern weapons due to widespread illegal trade with guns was singled out as an important factor for the escalation of interethnic conflicts. This has led to a strain of the relations between the central government, the county governments and the pastoral nomadic groups of the Northern Kenya.

During the engagement, the locals were enlightened on several factors of positive peace they needed to focus on: well-functioning leadership units, equitable division of resources, free flow of information, good relations with neighbors, interethnic friendships and marriages, high levels of human capital which increases life expectancy and increases literacy, acceptance of the rights of others.

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