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Residents hold fete, prayers to keep peace

By Stephen Rutto | Jan 3rd 2020 | 1 min read
Leaders from Pokot, Marakwet and Tugen communities join dancers during a peace meeting along Marakwet-Pokot border of Koloa area two months ago. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Two communities living on the border of Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties on Wednesday marked 22 years of peace in a ceremony led by the clergy.

Marakwet and Pokot communities in Kapsait marked the celebration that was graced by Catholic Bishop Maurice Crowley of Kitale Diocese and his Lodwar counterpart Dominic Kimengich.

The area was the epicentre of cross-border attacks and cattle theft in 1990s. 

Peace returned to the once-troubled area in 1997 following a truce negotiated by Bishop Cornelius Korir of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret, now deceased.

Elected leaders led by Governor Alex Tolgos said peace was realised after locals, under the stewardship of Bishop Korir, held meetings and decided to end the bloodletting.

Cement relationship

Mr Tolgos said the annual prayers marked on January 1 since 1998 have cemented the relationship between the two pastoralist communities.

Bishop Kimengich, who is set to be inaugurated as the Catholic Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret next month, said the search for peace remains at the centre of the church’s mission in the North Rift region.

He said the clergy will work closely with community leaders and local leaders to restore peace.

Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Deputy Governor Wisley Rotich, Marakwet West MP William Kisang, Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly Speaker Kiplagat Sabulei and a host of MCAs from both communities attended the annual peace prayers.

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