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Turkana, Dodoth pastoralists sign peace pact to end years of conflict

Armed herdsman. [File, Standard]

Turkana pastoralists and those from Dodoth in Uganda have signed a peace pact to end decades-long animosity. The move will allow them to share resources at their common borders.

The Kenyan delegation led by the County Executive for Education, Social Protection and Sports Alexander Losikiria toured the Nakapelmoru area in Kotido District, Uganda, to witness the signing of the peace pact yesterday.

Mr Losikiria said a result of extensive engagement on peace, pastoralists from the Turkana and Dodoth communities currently living in the Kalapata area of the Kaabong district in Uganda have inked a deal to end animosity and graze their livestock together.

He said hundreds of Turkana pastoralists had migrated with livestock to Northern Uganda border areas following a biting drought in the region.

The CEC said the peace pact has also culminated in the return of a 20-year-old Turkana herdboy abducted by the suspected members of the Dodoth community following a raid in Turkana West border five years ago.

“We are happy this peace deal has yielded fruits following the return of a young man abducted and driven alongside livestock to the Ugandan side. Some members of the Dodoth peace community found the boy and handed him over to the Uganda authorities. Arrangements were being made to reunite the boy with his parents in Kenya,” Mr Losikiria said.

He said the cross-border peace pact was reached last week, and the resolution was read Monday at Kaabong by Dodoth North MP Komol Joseph, during a cross-border intergovernmental peace dialogue meeting attended by stakeholders and government representatives from Kaabong district and Turkana County.

The CEC said some of the resolutions include reviewing and signing resources sharing agreements, and formation of kraal/peace committees to manage and implement the peace resolutions agreed upon.

“Both communities have also committed to follow up, recover and hand over stolen livestock to the real owners as well as identification and arresting of the culprits, among other resolutions,” he said.

He said the county government has set aside Sh47million in this financial year to establish new schemes and renovate existing schemes to support communities displaced by conflicts and other calamities.

The CEC said plans are underway to strengthen cross-border peace and rebuild public confidence in the agreed resolution to bolster a holistic cross-border peace approach from the leadership of the two countries.

He challenged elders from communities living in the Karamoja cluster to be champions of peace and thanked the Uganda leadership for their hospitality to the Turkana community when drought forced them to migrate to their country.

The dialogue meeting in Kaabong comes at a time when a ravaging drought has led to the death of livestock and forced hundreds of herders to migrate to neighbouring countries in search of water and pasture.

Uganda Kaabong District Woman MP Christine Nakwang’ lauded the decision from the two warring communities for reconciling and called on Non-Governmental Organisations involved in peace programmes to include women because they are conflict victims.

“We appreciate the signing of this cross-peace pact between the communities. We hope the guns will be silent,” Ms Nakwang’ said.​