Pokot-Marak­wet con­flict raises trib­al­ism spec­tre

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices -

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

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