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September 25, 2018

Team to resolve Isiolo-Garissa border dispute

Garissa county commissioner Joshua Speaking in Dertu ,Dadaab constituency on Sunday. /STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Garissa county commissioner Joshua Speaking in Dertu ,Dadaab constituency on Sunday. /STEPHEN ASTARIKO

A committee has been formed to resolve the protracted border dispute between residents of Isiolo South and Lagdera in Garissa county.

The dispute often leads to conflicts that have left several people killed and dozens injured.

Garissa county commissioner Joshua Chepcheing said the committee will include 15 people from each side and will be tasked with reconciling the communities.

The committee was formed last week during a leaders meeting in Banane, Garissa county, after both parties agreed to end hostilities.

Speaking on Sunday in Dertu, Dadaab constituency, Chepcheing said the government was determined to resolve the border dispute once and for all.

He said since the government stepped in early last month, there was peace and only three people have been killed since early June.

"The committee members, drawn from Eldere and Eldara where the three people lost their lives, will present their deliberations in a meeting in Embu, Masinga or Nairobi," he said.

A visit by former Northeastern regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh and his Eastern counterpart Wycliff Ogola said in mid July that one village was deserted because of clashes.

Chepcheing urged leaders to help the government preach peace and stop inciting their communities.

"The common mwananchi doesn’t have much interest in the border as long as they are able to eke out a living. Th e leaders and politicians are to blame for the fl are ups," Chepcheing said.

During his visit, Saleh insisted the boundaries between Northeastern and Eastern regions are historical.

He said boundaries are constitutional and cannot be changed by individuals the way we change constituencies every 10 years.

Saleh has since been moved to the Office of the President in charge of reforms. Recently, some local leaders also called for dialogue between elders from the two communities.

Isiolo senator Fatuma Dullo said the border row is getting out of hand.

"Schools in the El Dera and Tana areas are closed. The two communities lived together for decades and intermarried. Why is the border issue popping up now?" she asked.

Garissa Town MP Aden Duale said conflict will not be tolerated anymore. He said elders from both counties should resolve the feud to stop bloodshed.

Th e leaders spoke at Modogashe during a funds drive attended by Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday. The DP said the conflict will stall development.

 

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