BROKERED TRUCE

Turkana, Pokot and Karamoja peace deal to be unveiled in two weeks

Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa says move is aimed at ending age-long cattle rustling and banditry attacks between communities

In Summary

• The three communities raid each other in deadly cattle rustling activities and banditry attacks.

Arid Lands PS Micah Powon (R) and other delegates during the final day of African Regional Conference on Terrorism at Gigiri in Nairobi on Thursday, July 11, 2019
CURBING TERROR: Arid Lands PS Micah Powon (R) and other delegates during the final day of African Regional Conference on Terrorism at Gigiri in Nairobi on Thursday, July 11, 2019
Image: COURTESY

The governments of Kenya and Uganda will by end of the month unveil a brokered peace deal between the Turkana, Pokot and Karamoja communities that have been involved in age-long cattle rustling and banditry raids.

Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa on Thursday said the government has been engaged in discussions its Ugandan counterpart led by President Yoweri Museveni to end attacks and counter-attacks between the communities.

Eugene said the attacks have often led to loss of lives and livestock.

The Karamoja or the Karimojong, as they are commonly known, are an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders living in the northeast of Uganda. Turkana and Pokoto communities have always crossed the border into Uganda during drought seasons in search of water and pasture for their livestock.

Speaking at a Kenya-Ethiopian peacebuilding forum in Nairobi, Eugene said the peace deal will be modeled like the Kenya-Ethiopian one signed in 2015.

The deal was aimed at engendering support for effective co-operation and coordination of cross-border initiatives in southwest Ethiopia, northwest Kenya, Marsabit-Borana and Dawa, and Kenya-Somalia-Ethiopia to enhance stability in the region.

The $10 million programme funded by the European Union and the UN Development Programme, aimed at ensuring the Northern Kenya communities including the Gabra, Garre, Borana and Burji do not engage in further conflicts.

"Modeled on the Kenya-Ethiopia engagement, my ministry and the ministry of Karamoja Affairs of Uganda, in collaboration with United Nations county teams and other stakeholders, held a series of consultative meetings. This culminated in the production of a report and framework to guide the process in August 2018," Eugene said.

The meeting attended by Ethiopian minister for peace  Zeinu Jamal heard that the government has complete faith in the five-year agreement between Kenya and Ethiopia.

 

"An integrated regional framework governing cross-border interaction is the ideal solution to the common problems of cattle rustling, high poverty levels, inadequate food and water, smuggling of contraband goods, access to education and health and outbreaks of diseases," Eugene said.

 

The forum was attended by Arid Lands Principal Secretary Micah Powon.

Edited Obuya Peter