Pokot-Marakwet conflict raises tribalism spectre
A discussion about the Pokots and Marakwets in the context of security raises the spectre of tribalism. Indeed, the threat of tribal conflict between the two communities is real, well documented and cannot be underestimated. It is saddening that this is despite the two communities having a lot in common, including blood relations through intermarriages. The PokotMarakwet conflict is historical and is fuelled by the greed to accumulate as many as cattle as possible. The turning point was in 1998 when there were unprecedented cases of killings and cattle theft. When communal identities are key causes of violent conflict, traditional diplomacy and laws may be of little value. Bringing the political dimension on board in the PokotMarakwet conflict can create access to a more affective base of the parties’ behaviour, enabling them to examine critically their own attitudes and actions.
MICHAEL KASILON West Pokot