Kenya endorses regional plan to end tribal raids

Please find original post here

Mrs Museveni

Uganda’s First Lady Janet Museveni chaired a meeting of ministers in charge of security and regional relations from Kenya, Ethiopia and Kenya, who agreed to “an integrated plan” to have communities living in border areas live in peace. Photo/FILE

Original story on Daily Nation by AGGREY MUTAMBO, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2013

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2013

Kenya has endorsed a move by the region to have joint efforts to bring peace to border areas between Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan, in what appears to be an attempt to end perpetual tribal raids.

In a meeting on Monday chaired in Kampala by Uganda’s First Lady Janet Museveni, ministers in charge of security and regional relations from Kenya, Ethiopia and Kenya agreed to “an integrated plan” to have communities living in these areas live in peace.

Mrs Museveni is also Uganda’s Minister for Karamoja region, one of the areas most affected with continual intertribal raids.

Kenya’s Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku, Mr Benjamin Marial, the South Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr Omod Obang Olom, Ethiopia’s Minister for Federal Affairs were in attendance.

In a 12-point communiqué issued after the Monday meeting, the ministers said they would be “committed to the establishment of strong institutional arrangements” that ensure every campaign for peace or security is harmonised for the ‘Karamoja Cluster.’

The ‘Karamoja Cluster’ is an IGAD phrase used to describe cross-border region of four IGAD member countries. They are south western parts of Ethiopia, north western Kenya mainly in Turkana County, south eastern parts of South Sudan and north eastern parts of Uganda.

According to IGAD, these areas are located “in the peripheries” of their respective countries and share a history of under-development, marginalisation and insecurity.

As it is now, each of the country connected to the ‘Karamoja Cluster’ deals with its own security problem even though communities living here are mostly pastoralists who bump into each other over water and pasture.

“The ministers identified lack of effective coordination and harmonisation of these efforts as the main reason behind limited progress,” said a statement after the meeting.

In August, ten people on the shores of Lake Turkana were killed after they were reportedly ambushed by suspected Ethiopian bandits in Todonyang.

This wasn’t the first time such an incident happened. In 2011, about 15 people were killed after raiders attacked the same area.

But the areas have started appearing on the map as oil explorers continue to find oil and governments identify the need for security.

The Monday meeting, said the communiqué, was meant to review national policies and regional programmes for peace, security and development in the ‘Cluster’.

Although IGAD has been active in campaigning for similar programmes in the past, it would be interesting to see how this goes because numerous peace deals between the pastoralist communities have often been broken.

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