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Morans agree to end stock raids, promote peace

Morans in Marsabit County have vowed to join hands with the law enforcement agents in stopping the problem of cattle rustling believed to be the main cause of insecurity in the county.

The resolution arrived at Kituruni area when over 200 Morans from various age sets converged for a peace dialogue organised by the government with the support from the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) over the weekend.

The Morans, according to their head Loipido Lekelkalo have for a long time been blamed for being behind the now outlawed customary practice resulting in unending violence and destruction.

He said the youths were ready to support the initiative adding that no rustlers would be accorded avenue in their areas of operation

The Morans drawn from the Rendille and Samburu communities declared that they would shun the practice of raiding other communities for livestock, hence making peaceful pastoralism possible around Marsabit Mountain.

Marsabit Central Deputy County Commissioner David Saruni who coordinated the daylong meeting expressed concern over the need to plan and execute operations in order to stem the menace perpetuated by armed youths who engage in rustling.

Saruni lamented that the menace, though outlawed, continues to cause havoc among local pastoralist communities which he however said must come to a stop.

The DCC asked parents to take education of their children more seriously which he said has more lasting benefits as opposed to rustling. He called for equal opportunities to education for both girls and boys saying being affirmative in education matters was a guarantee to both equity and equality in society.

Saruni who led the sub-county security team at the siting urged the Morans to respect the decision of their elders to back the on-going peace building initiatives. He said that the government was considering reinstating the Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) in order to strengthen security structures in the area.

Elders from the two communities assured that they would support in ending the vice to ensure that stock theft corridors in Songa location were strongly guarded through solicited vigilance from the Morans.

This, the elders said, would lay good ground for harmonious coexistence between various local pastoralist communities.

On his part, NRT Marsabit County Director Dida Fayo said the organisation which supports community-run wildlife conservancies in the county was committed to helping the communities in ending violence.

Fayo reminded the communities that they stood to gain more by observing peace as the environment would be ideal for investment and growth.

He announced that the trust which oversees the management of Songa, Shurr, Jardesa and Melako conservancies in the country was working out on a rangelands carbon credit payout to local pastoralist communities and urged for peace.

Marsabit Senator Mohammed Chute blamed Morans from a neighbouring county for being responsible for the now more frequent and destructive conflicts in the county.

Chute asked local communities to love one another and not to resort to revenge whenever provoked but to instead allow the rule of law to take its course.

The Senator who also toured Kambinye and Shegel areas which witnessed incidents of insecurity last week appealed for enhanced humanitarian support to local communities whose sources of livelihood have been disrupted by the climate change induced severe drought.

“Hundreds of families are surviving without food after their livestock were wiped out by this drought and require urgent help in terms of food and water,” he said.

By Sebastian Miriti

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