Warring pastoral communities in Laikipia resolve conflict
Elders from warring Samburu and Ol Dorobo communities held a meeting on Tuesday, December 20 at Ngarendare Valley along the Isiolo-Laikipia Counties border in a bid to resolve the long-standing conflict that has led to loss of lives.
During the meeting, the elders pronounced a curse on anyone who will try to aggravate the two communities who share land and the native language.
Isiolo County Assembly Deputy Speaker, David Lemantile, said that the meeting was held courtesy of efforts from the government through the Principal Secretary, Richard Lesiyampe, and the Northern Rangelands Trust. He expressed optimism that the resolutions arrived at during the meeting would provide a lasting solution to the conflict.
Lemantile added that the root cause of the conflict was failure by the two groups to respect each others’ grazing areas with the Dorobo accusing the Samburu of encroaching into their conservancies in search of pasture.
Lemantile reiterated that the elders had agreed that no community would trespass the border with livestock, prior to sending elders to ask for permission to graze from their hosts. He said that the two sets of elders had also resolved to return or compensate the animals stolen between them within the conflict period.
Isiolo Deputy County Commissioner, Chaunga Mwachaunga, said that the government had come up with strict measures in an effort to curb cattle rustling which is a key player in sparking conflict.
He said that whenever livestock are stolen, security officers would trace the animals using their footsteps and force the community living where the steps end to produce the animals, adding that this strategy had been very successful in other areas. He held that the herders must learn to live in peace with each other.
Laikipia North Member of Parliament, Mathew Lempurkel, said that it was very unfortunate for communities that share so much in common to engage each other in activities that involve loss of life as they kept retaliating leading to death of five Samburus and five Dorobos.
His statements were echoed by Senate Security Committee Vice Chair, Fatuma Dullo, who lauded the elders and convener of the meeting for successfully bringing the two sides together in search of a lasting solution and called upon the herders to fully respect the resolutions made during the meeting.
Written by Eddy Ashioya
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