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Monthly Archives: May 2012

INITIATIVES IN RESOLVING CONFLICT AMONG PASTORALIST COMMUNITIES:

Kenya’s pastoral communities of Turkana and Samburu are set to benefit from peace initiatives and conflict management skills from Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR), based in Nairobi.

This was disclosed at a conference held at Tangaza College, Langata on March 31, 2012. Under the theme: Conflict Between pastoralist communities in Eastern Africa: SCCRR Research findings on the Turkana/Samburu conflict, the SCCRR Executive Director, Rev Fr Patrick Devine said the institute would be involved in research work on peace-making and conflict management as well as training the local people on the issue.

“Our concern here is that conflicts that have persisted between the two pastoral communities have had social, economic and religious negative impact on the two pastoral communities. “We shall undertake more research on the issue and train the local people on it,” he told the one-day conference, jointly organized by SCCRR and the Institute for Social Ministry in mission (ISMM) at Tangaza College

Catholic Bishop Alfred Rotich of Military Ordinariate and Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Social communications Commission welcomed the SCCRR initiative to inculcate peace where conflicts have persisted.Rev Dr Francesco Pierli, the director of ISMM urged the Church and other Christian institutions to make use of the research results. According to Professor Wanakayi Omoka, who led the SCCRR team in undertaking the research, “The results will be made public later in a booklet form.”

Kenya’s pastoral communities of Turkana and Samburu are set to benefit from peace initiatives and conflict management skills from Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR), based in Nairobi.“Our concern here is that conflicts that have persisted between the two pastoral communities have had social, economic and religious negative impact on the two pastoral communities. “We shall undertake more research on the issue and train the local people on it,” he told the one-day conference, jointly organized by SCCRR and the Institute for Social Ministry in mission (ISMM) at Tangaza College.

The persisting conflict between the two communities had resulted into human deaths as well as loss of animals through cattle rustling.In his remarks, while opening the conference, IGAD (Inter Governmental Authority on Development) Executive Secretary, Engineer Mahboub Maalim commended the Church for its involvement in peace-making and conflict management.“But the Church should do more on the issue as conflicts among some communities on the Africa continent were on increase,” he said.

Catholic Bishop Alfred Rotich of Military Ordinariate and Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Social communications Commission welcomed the SCCRR initiative to inculcate peace where conflicts have persisted.Rev Dr Francesco Pierli, the director of ISMM urged the Church and other Christian institutions to make use of the research results.

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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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CATTLE RUSTLING AMONG PASTORALIST

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Assistant Minister William Cheptumo and a District Commissioner escaped death narrowly when they were attacked by suspected Pokot cattle rustlers.

It took the intervention of their security escort who engaged the assailants in a fierce gunfire exchange to rescue the two who were on tour of the area, in Cheptumo’s constituency prone to cattle rustling. The incident which left the two shaken took place at Kamwetio area in Baringo North constituency where they had toured following frequent raids.

The incident which angered the minister prompted him to threaten to quit if the government fails to address cattle rustling and banditry in his constituency. The MP said there was no need serving in government while his people continue losing lives and livestock to bandits.”It does not help me or my people to be in government while injustice is being meted on them and other pastoralist communities,”.

He said it was high time the president declared cattle rustling a national disaster due to the magnitude of suffering undergone by the community “The insecurity situation in pastoralist and arid areas in Rift Valley have been deteriorating as governments continue ignoring their plight for years,” said Cheptumo.

The MP cited the cattle rustling in his constituency as the most ignored situation by all governments for the last 35 years.”If the DC who is guarded by armed officers cannot be safe, how about an ordinary mwananchi?” wondered Cheptumo.”The government needs to seriously address this issue as these communities depend entirely on livestock for livelihood,” he added.

He said the country’s Vision 2030 cannot be achieved if other Kenyans; pastoralist communities face economic crisis accrued as result of government’s failure to provide security to its citizens.

A week earlier, a 35-year-old man was hospitalized after he was shot and critically injured when armed suspected Pokot cattle rustlers attacked Ng’aratuko village in Baringo North district. The victim, James Chesut was herding his animals before being ambushed by the bandits who shot him severally breaking his legs and waist.

Witnesses say the raiders struck the village at around 11am Saturday but did not manage to steal anything from the village. The injured was rushed to Marigat district hospital by villagers and later referred to Nakuru Provincial General Hospital for advanced treatment. A week after the incident, bandits attacked Kamwetio and Kapturo villages in the area and made away with 13 cows and 22 goats.

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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STATELESS KENYANS CRY OUT FOR IDENTIFICATION:

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Everything is against them. Neighbours are their deadly enemies while the Government has forgotten them and the environment now threatens their very existence.

Marginalized within North Horr and the larger Marsabit County, the Daasanach, one of the smallest Kenyan tribes is crying out for justice, pleading with government and the international community to come to the people’s aid.

The Daasanach, who reside in Illeret village, claim that there is a deliberate move by their “Powerful” Gabra and Turkana neighbours to influence government officers not to give them national identity cards, without which they can’t vote or transact any business. A few who have national IDs only brag of the old generation type that allowed them to vote in past general elections and the 2005 and 2010 referendums. But these have become obsolete and are no longer valid.

Snail pace

Longaiye  Loitabua, 65, has been following up his retirement benefits from the Fisheries ministry for 12 years currently Because he still holds the old generation identity card, the conclusion of the transaction has been going on at snail pace.”I was asked to get a new identity card. But I have not even managed to apply for it. No government official comes here and I cannot afford to travel to Marsabit town,’’ said the old man when The Standard team recently toured Illeret area with officers from the Marsabit Catholic Diocese.

Loitabua has four children and his first born, Keresa, 41, has no ID but the other three do — because they were lucky that when they were in high school Immigration officials issued students with the vital document.”They got it while in secondary school in Marsabit town. Keresa applied for his ten years ago but he is yet to receive any communication about the process.”

A neighbor, Nyaro Arilale, who was born in 1962 and did not vote in the 2010 referendum because officials said her old generation ID expired in 1997, is not, therefore, a registered voter. At Telesgaye village on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana, hundreds of locals say they feel they are not part of Kenya because there is nothing to identify them as Kenyans.Alturat Korinyang, 54, who lost his ID in a house fire is yet to get a replacement he applied for in 1995.Because of this, Korinyang cannot process his late brother’s benefits from the Ministry of Health.”My brother worked as a nurse in Marsabit and I am his next of kin. The rest of the family have no ID and we cannot get the money,’’ he says. Illeret Ward councilor Jennifer Lonyaman says about 6,000 of the Daasanach have IDs.

Ran short of forms

The community’s population, according to the 2009 National Census and the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission is 9,790 and they occupy an area of 4,041square kilometers. But Lonyaman estimates that the community’s number is about 16,000. In the 2007 General Election, Illeret voters were 888.”The enumerators ran short of forms by midday. The DC told us more forms would be sent and the exercise would be extended. Meanwhile, things were done on foolscaps. The promise was not honoured and the Daasanach were not counted,” says Lonyaman. But the vast North Horr/Chalbi District got its first office of Registrar of Persons last December and the department also lacks vehicles.

The registrar, Joseph Muchungu, says the office relies on other departments for a vehicle to move around the two districts. He said the department had covered most areas in dealing with the problem and Illeret was next on their schedule where the problem of the Daasanach would be addressed. As government officers, says Muchungu, they cannot deny Kenyans their rights. Illeret has two primary schools — one is complete while the second one is up to Standard Four.

At Illeret Primary School that was started in 1969, records show that the last time a district education officer visited the school was 1989 while more than 90 per cent of children, especially girls, are out of school.

 

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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