The vicious conflicts between Pokot and Turkana communities have been attributed to the long standing boundary and resource tussle in the area. The land in question, which emanates from Marich Pass area, 194 kilometres to Lodwar and Kainuk, is joined with the Turkwel River, which is rich with fertile soils that has seen CSOs attempt to encourage both parties to practice subsistence farming. Areas around Turkwel, including Amolem, Takaywa, Sarmach, Nyangaita, Alale, Lokiriama and Ombolion are among the worst hit, with close to 30 deaths reported in the past four months. Turkana leaders on the other hand are battling it for land situated in Kapedo, where 21 police officers and three civilians were recently killed by bandits and their firearms stolen.
The two communities have been fighting over resources along the border region, which has resulted to death and displacement. Leaders from Baringo East have constantly claimed that Kapedo and Lomelo regions belong to them, but has been annexed unfairly by the Turkana community. “Kapedo is in Turkana East County and is administered by Turkana County government. It is a wonder that Baringo leaders allege that it is theirs, without valid proof and only rely on the 1963 boundary map,” as mentioned by Turkana East Member of Parliament Nicholas Ngikor. The rift between the two communities has constantly widened, with the county chiefs and national leaders pointing an accusing finger at each other without reaching a formidable solution. Attempts by the leaders, who recently organized a peace meeting initiative, aimed to restore normalcy and avert the conflict were futile as both leaders snubbed the function. Turkana County Governor Josphat Nanok, has urged the Government to form a commission to review the land demarcations soon to avert more damage. “The Government as a matter of urgency should address this boundary issue. Further delay will mean more impunity and deaths,” said Nanok. Samuel Tororei, a commissioner at the National Land Commission, said the aggrieved counties should resolve their differences in accordance with the Constitution.
Implementing chapter Four of the constitution and having an up to date data on of the boundary will bring peace in pastoral counties.