Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet MPs skip border dispute meeting
Governors and MPs from the troubled Marakwet and Pokot counties yesterday skipped a delegates’ meeting in Nakuru called to discuss solutions to conflicts in the Kerio Valley. The National Cohesion and Integration Commission organised a meeting between elders from the warring Marakwet and Pokot communities. Government officials and leaders from the troubled areas, among them governors Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Benjamin Chesire (Baringo), Tiaty MP Asman Kamama and former MP Jebii Kilimo had been invited to attend. NCIC chairman Francis ole Kaparo (pictured) said, “The meeting was crucial as it seeks to end the inter-ethnic rivalry between the communities in the Kerio Valley.” He urged security agencies in the Kerio Valley to arrest suspects connected with the clashes. “All political leaders should be ambassadors of peace, especially in warring communities, to end the conflicts being experienced. I will ensure such peace meetings are held at the grassroots level,” Kaparo said. Baringo county commissioner Peter Okwanyo urged residents to shun tribalism, which he said is a cause of conflict. Last weekend, conflicts were reported in the Kerio Valley. Rift Valley regional coordinator Wanyama Musiambo warned against illegal guns. Over the past month, there have been clashes in the region that have left at least 30 people dead and thousands displaced. Security officers set up camp along the banks of the Kerio River, as relative calm returned to the region. Five suspects, among them two spiritual leaders, have been arrested in connection with persistent cattle raids.