Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok has called on the ‘Ateker’ leadership to make effort to build sustainable peace and end cattle theft and killings across borders.
In Turkana language, ‘Ateker’ means a distinct group with related customs, laws and lifestyle and who share a common ancestry.
Members of one ‘Ateker’ have a common character of mutual respect for each other in their diversity and each member group of ‘Ateker’ occupies its own territory and exercises authority over its own land and people independent of each other.
Speaking at the County Headquarters on Sunday, during a courtesy call by Kaabong District, Local Council Chairman (LC5) elect Jino Meri, Governor Nanok said that cattle theft characterized by killings has made the region lag behind in terms of socio-economic development for ages, and it is time to put that behind and give development a chance.
He lauded past peace efforts milestones as gains that can be guarded to enable the neighbors achieve sustainable peace and development, and should not be spoilt.
“Proliferation of small arms is increasing in the Karamoja and Turkana borders and leadership must work hard to stop the use of these weapons to steal and kill,” he said.
He called on all stakeholders to enhance dialogue to revamp peace efforts so that people can look for alternative means of survival other than through the gun.
The Turkana County boss further noted that a return to conflict is being witnessed and reported along the Karamoja and Turkana boundaries and especially during Covid19 period.
Ateker brotherhood across the border must be taken as a unifying factor to promote peaceful coexistence among communities.
The Governor said the UNDP-Africa Borderlands Center that was launched two weeks ago in Turkana with offices in Nairobi is a major project that will augment peace efforts along aside an MOU signed in September 2019 between Uganda and Kenya, whose dividends have been realized through the construction of Namoni-Angikaala dam to provide water to Turkana Pastoralists at the border.