- Imam Jamia Mosque Sheikh Mohammednur Kuli said religious leaders have unique access to conflict stabilization and peace building using the trust the community has in them.
- Pastor William called for community engagement at the grassroots and said they understand better the root causes of insecurity.
Marsabit County religious leaders have joined the Government and Non-governmental organisations in promoting peace and harmonious coexistence, using their positions as trusted local figures.
Speaking to members of the press, Imam Jamia Mosque Sheikh Mohammednur Kuli said religious leaders have unique access to conflict stabilization and peace building using the trust the community has in them.
He said they are important and constant interlocutors in managing tension through the mediation process.
"Interreligious dialogue provides the opportunity for the different religious leaders to come together in preaching love and unity," said Sheikh Mohammednur.
He emphasized the commendable role of religious leaders in the past conflict, saying that bringing the spiritual dimension into the peacemaking process ends the conflict and brings cohesiveness.
"Religious leaders support the government's mission of maintaining peace through their sermons," he said
Sheikh Kuli said sustainable peace requires not only political will but the collective efforts of the warring communities, civil society and religious leaders.
"We need to expand the space for dialogue to encompass local and religious leaders and other actors who have a voice and influence within their community," he added
He said, religious leaders working with the government and other actors in Peacebuilding initiatives and identifying the obstacle to peace, said their involvement often refers to the religious value of love that encourages groups in conflict to live peacefully.
He identified pastures, water and boundary disputes as the key cause of recurring on-and-off skirmishes that often lead to bloodshed.
Kuli said it is common for herdsmen in the region to roam far and wide in search of water and pasture but the bone of contention is the long dispute over land ownership.
He now called on the government to resolve land-related disputes to avert violence and loss of lives.
Sheikh Mohammednur called on his fellow religious leaders not to relent in promoting unity and working together towards the betterment of the region and use faith to promote peace by ensuring the prosperity of the people, as well as the development of the local community.
He urged residents to work together irrespective of their religions and ethnic differences, promising that religious leaders would continue preaching peace, unity and tranquillity in Marsabit.
"Promoting unity and peace will bring about a peaceful coexistence among our diverse communities," he said, stressing that in spite of differences, people must be able to sit together and dialogue.
He maintained that religious leaders are committed to working with the government and peace actors in promoting peace and unity.
Sheikh commended Governor Mohamud Ali's administration for engaging religious leaders in peace dialogue and community engagement.
According to pastor William Wako incorporating messages of peace, tolerance, coexistence and pluralism into their sermons, as well as educational and outreach activities create social awareness in the society.
He emphasized the need to always incorporate religious approaches in addressing and resolving the root causes of the conflict.
While underscoring the important roles played by religious leaders, pastor William said religion can serve as a channel for implementing and sharing knowledge among the faithful for effective peacebuilding in the region.
"As religious leaders, we have the task of establishing peace in our society. The religious leaders are the closest to the citizens at the grassroots. We should teach and influence others to be followers of a peaceful life," said Pastor William
Pastor William called for community engagement at the grassroots and said they understand better the root causes of insecurity.
He called for the involvement of women and youth in Peacebuilding initiatives.
He said providing a platform for young people to have their voices to be heard as future leaders would promote a culture of peace and responsible citizenship among young people.
He added that by embracing the ideas of young people, providing resources and fostering an inclusive environment, Marsabit can harness the potential of its young generation and transform its trajectory.
"The journey towards sustainable peace and development requires the contribution of all stakeholders. Together we can bound a region where opportunities abound, wounds of conflict heal and the dream of aspirations of the youth realised," he said
Pastor called for strengthening participation of women for the stability of the county, and said women are often the most impacted by the conflict.
He urged the government to be always proactive before conflict arises, saying the price of looking for peace is more expensive than avoiding conflicts.
The two religious leaders thanked the Interreligious Council of Kenya for being on the frontline whenever conflict and misunderstanding arose in the county.