A conflict and violence prevention guide was launched in the Tana River County by the Kenya Community Support Centre (KECOSCE). The guide will be used to facilitate effective reporting and timely response of conflicts.
Tana River County Commissioner Mbogai Rioba lauded the unveiling of the guide saying it will support the existing structures like the Nyumba Kumi in early response initiatives to tackle any emerging conflicts.
“It will provide an opportunity for effective local information sharing platform that will enable the identification of conflict concerns in the County. The Community members will have the opportunity to report through SMS and make phone calls to report potential security threats that will prompt quick response from security agencies,” said Rioba.
Rioba said the county since independence has suffered from security instability, marginalization, volatility vulnerability, poverty, ethnic antagonism and violent extremism which have caused insecurity.
“The county also suffers from cyclic natural disasters: floods and droughts which have highly contributed to conflicts,” said the County Commissioner.
The nature of conflicts in the county varies according to the County Commissioner. Economic conflict is as a result of inequitable sharing of resources, marginalization, landlessness, and under development.
He noted that Socio political conflict is brought about by negative ethnicity, the fight for political positions, disregard for the rule of law and impunity, resource-based conflicts which are majorly experienced by a scramble for natural resources.
“Conflicts in the county have occurred from time immemorial, the worse ethnic conflict occurred in 2012/2013 period where around 166 innocent people lose their lives. 167 houses were burnt,” the County boss said.
He observed that there has been simmering tension recently in the county in areas like Madogo, Bangale, Sera and Garsen but the security teams and peace partners have moved with speed to suppress the situation.
Elders from different communities vowed to ensure peace prevail in the county as the country prepares to go for a general election next year.
“We will conduct regular meetings on security. We don’t want conflicts during the general election next year in the Tana River County as was witnessed in the past. We will report all politicians who incite the communities,” said Chairman of elders in Tana – Delta Sub-County David Magasani.
By Sadik Hassan