'ICC cases causing tension in county'

NCIC Chairman Francis ole Kaparo (right), Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Abdi Hassan and Kalenjin elder Major John Seii in Eldoret last Friday after the commission’s public hearing. [ PHOTO: KEVIN TUNOI/STANDARD]

The ongoing International Criminal Court (ICC) cases, pending resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs), hastened court orders and biased employment in universities are impeding complete reconciliation in parts of Uasin Gishu County, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) was told.

County Commissioner Abdi Hassan, who has been facilitating reconciliation and cohesion in the region which was hard hit by the 2008 Post Election Violence (PEV), told the NCIC that tension is still palpable in the area.

“This region has moved in leaps and bounds to ensure peaceful coexistence but whenever the ICC cases are mentioned and proceedings are on, intelligence information has been highlighting bits of tension, which need to be addressed cautiously and urgently by the community and relevant authorities,” Mr Hassan.

He was speaking during a forum with the Kalenjin Council of Elders and peace ambassadors in Eldoret yesterday.

Hassan noted that the county has not witnessed any other incident of violence, but was categorical that the involvement of top national leaders in the ICC cases has been igniting division among the communities in the cosmopolitan county.


He called for sobriety among leaders and the residents to sustain the peace.

“When these matters go on at ICC you hear toxic statements like Tuliwaambia hamkusikia, maji haiwezi panda mlima (You did not listen when we warned you, rivers don’t flow uphill) from leaders and the people,” said Hassan.

The county commissioner further told the commission that there are a number of IDPs that claim to have been left out two years after President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto took office.

These, he said, are also an igniting factor of friction between the communities in the region and asked for consideration of their plight by the planning ministry.

“The presence of these camps is an impediment to complete healing and cohesion as they were a result of the 2008 post-polls chaos.

“The courts have not helped a lot by issuing hasty eviction orders on squatters and those living on forest land.  These are also likely recipes of violence,” Hassan said.

NCIC Chairperson Francis Ole Kaparo cited massive youth radicalisation across the country as a barrier to peaceful coexistence and called for co-operation from the public to counter these negative tendencies.