By ALI ABDI
Communities living in Isiolo ate a traditional meal of milk, meat and blood as they agreed to end tribal hostilities.
Livestock Development Minister and Isiolo North MP, Mohammed Kuti brought together leaders from the warring Borana, Somali, Turkana, Samburu and Ameru communities residing in central Isiolo to share in the food.
The residents drunk blood from livestock as their respective leaders openly spoke about the causes and effects of the conflict.
Dr Kuti was joined by Joseph Samal (Turkana), councillors Paul Mero (Shambani), Ekuwam Toru (Ngaremara), Yarro Hassan (Somali), Galma Ali (Borana), Peter Lekurtut (Samburu) and Selasio Kiambi (Meru).
Acting Isiolo DC Hezron Koech represented Upper Eastern Regional Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru, who is away in Bujumbura to study about inter-community conflicts from the Hutu-Tutsi case study in Burundi and neighbouring Rwanda.
The leaders hugged and danced as a sign of peace meant to heal deep-rooted animosities as they feasted at Kambi Garba, where dozens of houses were torched and five people killed in daytime attacks a month ago.
Kuti said development in Isiolo had lagged behind due to tribal conflict and urged residents to stop fighting to position themselves to benefit from major projects that were in about to start.
He cited the Isiolo International Airport, abattoir, the construction of Isiolo-Moyale road, whose first phase is complete, and the proposed multi-billion shilling resort city.
"The fruits of these billion dollar projects will go to outsiders if you do not stop fighting. Think about your children’s welfare instead of fighting," Kuti said.
Mr Samal said resources must be shared equally among the communities in the area.