Kenya, Ethiopia set to sign peace deal in Moyale

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are on Monday expected to launch a cross-border peace plan along the Kenya-Ethiopia border.

The cross-border integrated programme for sustainable peace and socio-economic transformation that will be launched at the border Town in Moyale, Marsabit County is aimed at reducing insecurity in Marsabit County and Borana zone in Ethiopia and Kenya.

The cases of insecurity along the Kenya-Ethiopia border have recently increased, with Ethiopia soldiers extending their raids to the Kenyan side while in pursuit of members of the Oromo Liberation Front.

According to UN resident coordinators Nardos Bekele-Thomas (Kenya), Ahunna Eziakonwa (Ethiopia) and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) executive secretary Mahboub Maalim the main objective of the initiative was to “achieve transformational change through strategic and integrated responses.”

In a statement, the three said the initiative would replace fragmented and piecemeal support and jointly assist the region in reducing vulnerability, increasing resilience and promoting inclusive economic growth in Marsabit County and the Borana Zone.

The programme is spearheaded by the local and national governments of Ethiopia and Kenya, the UN country teams of Ethiopia and Kenya and Igad, in collaboration with government ministries, the private sector and development partners.

The UN resident coordinators also intimated that the cross border initiative is expected to create opportunities for trade, investment and tourism and ensure effective use and management of natural resources.

The initiative will also improve infrastructure through the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopian Transport corridor (Lapsset), control cross-border conflict and enhance cross-border movement of people and curb illegal human and arms trafficking.

Also expected during the launch are Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani, Oromia Regional State President Muktar Kedir, World Bank regional delegate Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, USAID Mission director in Kenya Karen Freeman, Head of European delegation to African Union Gary Quince and Ethiopia House of Representatives Speaker Abadula Gemeda.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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