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Warring groups in Marsabit and Wajir agree on ceasefire

NORTH EASTERN
By Joseph Muchiri | April 18th 2016
Wajir West MP Ahmed Orre (third left) and Turbi-Bubisa MCA Pius Yattani (right) flanked by elders hold spears during a meeting to bring peace between Gabra and Degodia communities at Shuur in Marsabit. Violence erupted between the herders from the two communities at Lalesa water point within Marsabit County two weeks ago which led to loss of seven lives. PHOTO: JOSEPH MUCHIRI/STANDARD

Leaders in Marsabit and Wajir counties have resolved to champion peace and end hostilities between two warring communities in the region.

Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani and his Wajir counterpart Ahmed Abdullahi led elders from the Gabra and Degodia communities in agreeing to promote harmonious co-existence through sharing of resources.

Speaking during peace meetings in the border towns of Arbjahan in Wajir and Shuur in Marsabit last week, they argued that that there was no pride in leadership when their people were killing each other mercilessly.

A wave of violence erupted between herders from the two communities at Lalesa water point in Marsabit County two weeks ago which led to the loss of seven lives.

"Peace is a unique asset that every society must guard selflessly... Peace is not an option but instead a thing that everyone must abide by in our regions," said Mr Yatani.

The leaders agreed to form a 20-member peace committee with equal representation from each community to champion lasting peace in the region.

Governor Abdullahi told the participants to embrace peace by learning to be tolerant of one another and using peaceful dispute resolving mechanisms.

He warned that raids and killings were outdated practices and those found responsible would not be spared by the law.

"It's illegal and unacceptable to harm innocent lives. Those behind the raids will face the full wrath of the law. Everyone must learn to value and embrace peace," he said.

Yatani said: "The responsibility of ensuring peace lies with us all collectively. If we can't ensure peace, our people whom we lead will never forgive us for the rest of their lives and generations to come too."

Wajir West MP Ahmed Orre, North Horr MP Chachu Ganya and Tarbach MP Mohammed Elmi urged people from the two counties to uphold peace, telling them that nothing can be exchanged with peace for a progressive society.

Non-State actors that offered support during the peace process included the Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance, Catholic Diocese (Caritas) and Finn Church AID under Regal-IR, among others.

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