BURYING THE HATCHET

Garre elders pay back camels stolen from Degodia in 1964

The two clans in Mandera county also agreed to live harmoniously with each other.

In Summary

• Hussein Maalim from Takaba subcounty said that they decided to repay the camels that his forefathers stole from the Degodia as a gesture of reconciliation.

• Elders from the two communities in Mandera county also agreed on Monday to live harmoniously with each other. 

Chief Isaack Robow with Garre clan elders led by Hussein Maalim [right] when they handed over camels to Degodia elders to repay those stolen in 1964
PEACE: Chief Isaack Robow with Garre clan elders led by Hussein Maalim [right] when they handed over camels to Degodia elders to repay those stolen in 1964
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Garre elders have given their Degodia counterparts 10 camels as a replacement for those stolen in 1964, in a symbolic gesture to resolve a long-running conflict between the clans. 

Degodia elder Hassan Osman received the camels on behalf of his clan. He said it would go along way in improving the relationship between the clans. 

“On behalf of my community, I want to thank the brothers from Garre for what they have decided to do. We are not taking this gesture for granted. As communities residing in Mandera, we know how far we have come in attaining peace and tranquility. Long may it last,” Osman said. 

 
 

Garre elder Hussein Maalim from Takaba subcounty said that they decided to repay the camels that his forefathers stole from the Degodia as a gesture of reconciliation.

Hussein noted it was time to live together in peace and therefore a need to resolve historical injustices and start on a clean slate.

Elders from the two clans also agreed on Monday to live harmoniously with each other. 

Area chief Isaack Robow said at the handover and reconciliation ceremony that the government had a role to play in ending the communal feuds.

Robow said the government was committed to bringing to an end all communal hostilities.

He asked politicians and other leaders to follow suit and return stolen public property.

Ahmed Aziz, a commissioner at the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, called on area communities to coexist peacefully.

 
 

Aziz reminded residents of inter-communal clashes that resulted in killings, injuries, displacement of persons and untold suffering of communities during the Garre-Degodia flare-ups.

He said it was high time communities desisted from clan clashes and forged forward for prosperity in the region.

Hussein Abdi of interpeace Kenya said peace among communities in Northern Kenya will lead to speedy development of the region.

Hostilities between the Garre and Degodia clans have persisted for years. 

Mandera was the epicentre of bloody clan clashes from 2011 to 2013. Several people were killed and hundreds of others displaced.

Numerous peace meetings held have yielded fruit.

Governor Ali Roba has often emphasised that the county can ill afford to slide back to inter-clan clashes that claimed the lives of hundreds of people and displaced many more in 2013.

Roba recently said previous inter-clan clashes had made it difficult to run the county and implement development projects.

“We all know where we were a few years ago. We don’t want to go back there. Never should we allow such things to happen in our society again. Peace is paramount,” the county chief said.