Governor Ayacko's administration formulate peace policy amid tension in the county

Protesters block Road at Isebania boarder town over insecurity  on May 21, 2023. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Governor Ochilo Ayacko’s administration has developed a peace policy that seeks to outline a framework for peace building in Migori County.

The move is part of an effort to identify conflict triggers including political, economic, ideological, socio-cultural and environmental factors.

The formulation of the policy comes at a time when the county has experienced clashes that authorities believe were politically and socially fueled.

In the recent happenings, Isebania residents demonstrated twice over insecurity in the border town, an incident that resulted to the death of six rioters who were shot by police.

Political tension is also high in the county as local leaders eyeing seats in 2027 begins early campaigns amid shifting political realignments.

Chief Officer for Special Programs Starlet Oduor who acknowledged that the county had had issues of political conflict, goons and cross border conflicts said such challenges dragged the county back in terms of development.

“When these incidences are repeated they hamper development and interfere with the easy the outside world sees us,” Ms. Oduor said.

She noted that they have come up with the policy that can address such issues and bring peace to the county so that it can attract more partners and development.

Paul Omole, the county's Programs Officer for RAPADO recommended that the county government put up structures where the community is able to detect conflicts early and share that information with institutions that can be able to intervene before a conflict escalates to violence.

According to the RAPADO programs officer, the policy has proposed a set of actions so that we may be able to bring down some of the conflicts that we are experiencing in the county.

“We desire this peace policy so that we may be able to create a society that is cohesive, prosperous and where people feel that they live with dignity,” Mr. Omole said, adding that the formulation of the policy is informed by the fact that the county has had a history of protracted conflicts.

He said there was need for an office to be placed for the coordination of such issues, and additional funding from the county government to be directed towards peace building in the county.

The policy draft which is on its validation stage is set to go through public participation.

George Chacha who is a rotary peace fellow and civic educator said the county has set up one of the biggest pillars in the stability of the societal networks in the county.

“We appreciate what the executive of the county government has done by calling the non State actors and other partners to a round table to try to explore the mechanisms we can put in place to build a cohesive, stable and conducive environment for economic, social and political development,” Mr. Chacha said.

The policy aims at guiding policy and legislative development related to peace and conflict prevention, creating a localized approach to conflicts, enhancing coordination of peace actors and providing a platform for sustainable resource mobilization to support peace processes in the county.

Others include harmonizing the national government and county government functions on peace matters, helping in developing County Action Plans for Peace and promoting alternative dispute resolution in peace building.