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Community elders vow to end cross-border hostilities

Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

Elders from Luo and Nandi communities have resolved to end hostilities and embrace peace, bringing to an end tension that has been witnessed at the border of  Kisumu and Nandi counties recently.

In a meeting held in Nakuru yesterday, the 300 elders assured Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i they would ensure peaceful coexistence between the communities.

They vowed to preach peace and let the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the National Land Commission and other government agencies to handle the matter.

Noting that border conflicts do not have a place in a modern society, Matiang’i challenged the two communities to work together in good faith for the sake of development. 

“As elders, you’re custodians of peace, if things go wrong you’ll have let both yourselves and your people down,” the CS said.

“But how can things go wrong when you’re there?” he asked, adding that resources used to combat intercommunal conflicts should be channelled to other aspects of the economy.

“Stability of the country is very important  for all of us especially now that we have the four pillars to focus on so these small disagreements are a waste of time,” he said. 

Matiang’i said the government is in the process of acquiring 500 more vehicles to boost response in security hot spots areas.

However, he maintained that the government is reluctant to use force in local community conflicts which can be resolved through dialogue.

“We will not deploy police to our local borders, it’s expensive and unnecessary. I don’t think it is proper to use guns against our people,” Matiang’i said, calling for peaceful resolution of conflicts.

After addressing them, the CS asked the elders to hold hands aloft as a sign of embracing peace.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and his Nandi counterpart Stephen Sang had laid the ground noting that they have been working closely since their days in the Senate. 

The duo attributed frequent border tension to rising poverty levels in the area, saying sugar barons were to blame for flooding the market with cheap sugar, therefore, killing the local sugar industry prospects.

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