Kenya signs IGAD Protocol on migration to mitigate pastoralist conflicts

Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign Affairs Secretary.[Standard, File]

Kenya has signed the IGAD Protocol on Transhumance, in an effort to manage cross-border pastoralist activities and reduce associated conflicts.

Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign Affairs Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi, signed the protocol on Friday, June 7, following discussions with IGAD Head of Mission in Kenya Fatma Adan.

"Not too long ago, we have had issues with some of our pastoralists crossing over, and in certain cases, there have been incidents resulting in violence and loss of life and livestock. This will hopefully mitigate such challenges," Mudavadi said.

"The security part of it and also the health for the human being and the animals becomes a critical issue to look at," he added.

The protocol establishes a framework for the safe and orderly movement of herders and livestock in search of water and pasture within IGAD member states.

It addresses transhumance activities, sustainable management of natural resources, and conflict prevention.

Kenya is the fifth IGAD member state to sign the protocol, following Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Djibouti.

 The protocol, adopted during the 72nd Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers in June 2021, promotes peaceful coexistence and protects pastoralist rights.

The signing ceremony was overseen by the Registrar of Treaties, Ambassador Joseph Vungo, and attended by key officials, including Jonathan Mueke, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Livestock Development, and Ali Raso Dido, the Parliamentary Pastoralist Group representative.

Following the signing, the protocol will be submitted to the Cabinet and the National Assembly for approval and ratification.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa focused on accelerating economic and social development through regional integration anchored on peace and prosperity.