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Security agencies enlist elders to resolve border dispute

Local administrators and peace committees led by Narok and Migori County Commissioners have mobilized local elders and peace committees to address land disputes and cattle rustling.

The peace meeting that took place at Ang’ata Baragoi along the borders of Kilgoris, Transmara, and Kuria East Sub Counties deliberated on the way forward on how to end the perennial land disputes and cattle rustling cases.

Narok County Commissioner Mr. Isaac Masinde confirmed that seven of the 18 cows that were stolen in July this year from Narok were recovered by anti-stock theft officers at Ndimaru Sub County-Migori.

The disputed 400-acre piece of land that lies in the triangle bordering the three sub-counties has also been an issue of concern that has caused shivers and even resulted in some deaths in the Kuria, Maasai, and Kipsigis communities that claim its ownership.

He urged the perpetrators who stole the animals to return them in the next seven days to ensure peace and harmony prevailed among the border community.

“Awendo Peace Accords dictate that if cows are stolen from an area within the Migori and Narok Counties, the responsible community will be liable to return the cows within seven days,” noted Masinde.

He also announced to the border residents that the disputed 400-acre status quo should be maintained until the court case is finalised.

Migori County Commissioner, Mr. David Gitonga, explained that the Awendo and Tarime Peace Declaration should always be upheld to maintain peace and harmony among the border communities living in Migori and Narok Counties.

Gitonga called upon those who stole the cows from Narok to return them in the next seven days before security swung into action. The administrator also emphasised that stock theft was an outdated mode of practice, cautioning the residents that the municipal security agencies would deal with the menace to retain sanity in the two border counties.

The Chairperson of the Peace Committee, Migori Charles Motatiro, elaborated that the 400 acres of land in dispute were still not in use as ownership had never been well established since 1964, when the dispute over the land started.

He, however, urged his community to expose cattle rustlers who continued to spoil the name of the entire Kuria community.

Similarly, the head of the Narok peace committee, Francis Ole Tomboi, called on the warring and feuding sides to give peace and dialogue a chance to enhance harmony among the border communities.

Ole Tomboi disclosed that cases of cattle rustling and stock theft were rampant on both sides of the border, further escalating and creating more tension and anger in the border communities.

He called upon the local administrators to ensure that the Awendo and Tarime Peace Accords were well implemented to address aggrieved cases of stock theft and land issues.

By Geoffrey Makokha

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