Leaders call for peaceful coexistence at Turkana festival

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Samburu dancers perform at the Lake Turkana Cultural Festival on June 28, 2018. Leaders from the region attending the festival have urged communities to co-exist peacefully. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By IRENE MWENDWA

Leaders have urged communities living in Northern Kenya to be peaceful and co-exist with each other.

While championing peace and development during the Lake Turkana Cultural Festival, Council of Governors Chairman Josphat Nanok said that people from the region should stay discard traditions that stir enmity.

Mr Nanok said that developing the region and opening up corridors connecting various counties will be the only solution to stopping the rampant cattle thefts and retaliatory missions.

"While we fight each other over cattle, while we look in the direction of the lost cattle, we will lose a lot of things and allow our community land be taken advantage of," said Mr Nanok.

The Turkana governor added that the region has great potential in terms of minerals but all companies exploring them should first reach agreements with local communities.

COMMUNITY LAND

Mr Nanok said that community land should benefit the people, noting that no company or even government will be allowed to benefit while neglecting local communities.

"In Marsabit, we are aware there is a case in court over land covered by the wind power project. We will rally behind these other leaders to ensure our people benefit from their land," added Mr Nanok.

Governors Mohamed Kuti (Isiolo), Ali Roba (Mandera), Uasin Gishu (Jackson Mandago) and Marsabit’s Mohamud Ali all supported Mr Nanok’s calls for peace in the region.

They all asked the Cushitic communities to follow the example of the more than six ethnic groups in Loiyangalani and coexist peacefully.

"We expect our people to live together not only in Marsabit but also amongst and across all the region’s counties," said Mr Kuti.