Calls for disarmament dominate peace fete


Leaders from Turkana and neighbouring regions in Uganda and Ethiopia have asked the government of Kenya to disarm communities in northern parts of the country,
saying it was necessary to protect the lives of people and their property. They spoke at a peace meeting at Lokiriama in Loima Sub-County, near the border of Uganda and Kenya, on September 21. The meeting was held to mark 41 years of peace among the Ateker cluster. The Uganda Minister for Energy and Minerals Development Peter Lokeris said: “The central government is the custodian of peace, and I therefore urge the government to carry out forceful disarmament because these illegal firearms have made many families living along the borders to be vulnerable.” Lokeris further said: “I know our brothers from Pokot and Turkana community have been having conflict for a long time. I urged the leaders from both communities to replicate what Matheniko and Turkana did for the past 41 years, so that people can co-exist without conflicts.”

National leadership

He went on: “We want our people to share resources. That is why we allow pastoral communities to come and graze their livestock in Uganda, as long as they don’t cross the border with a gun.” The leader of minority at the Turkana County Assembly Jeremiah Lomorukai echoed the same sentiments, and accused the national leadership for failing to remove guns from warring communities. Lomorukai also said that it was high time for both county and national governments to talk to leaders from both Pokot and Turkana communities on how they will return their guns. Turkana governor Josphat Nanok urged the delegations to support dialogue, as it was the only way of getting a lasting solution among the communities. “I led another delegation last month to Ethiopia, the South Omo Zone, where we had candid talks with Ato Moloka, the chief administrator, and agreed that the two governments were going to work together in promoting peace along the borders,” Mr Nanok said. The governor called upon the national government to move with speed and arrest the situation of insecurity along the border of Pokot and Turkana, pointing out that it was getting out of hand.

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