The Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) has developed a Peace Building and Conflict Management Policy that seeks to promote cooperation and enhance socio-economic development of the region.
The Bill under the 10 frontier counties; Garissa, Isiolo, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and West Pokot aims to put in place legal framework that will transforming the formerly marginalised region into an economic giant.
At a recent event, the council’s Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Guled said the document seeks to analyse constraints and gaps in existing policy, laws and institutions in a bid to find lasting peace and security in the region.
The policy, he said, is a rallying call to the people of the region to find ways of contributing to their own peace in ways best known to them.
The initiators of the document argue that it has already been shared with residents and local ward representatives from all the counties forming the bloc, with the latest being a stakeholders forum at Tana Palace, yesterday, May 29.
All the counties forming the bloc have suffered from clan disputes, cross-border conflicts, boundary disputes, cattle rustling and banditry, poverty and lack of development.
Leaders from the region have pointed out that while some conflicts are spontaneous, others are triggered by political incitement, border disputes, pasture land, natural resources, drought and climate change, drugs, small arms, unresolved historical injustices, terrorism and negative use of social media.
The Bill aims to counteract these problems with functioning institutions, capacity building, conflict prevention and response, the primacy of law enforcement, traditional conflict prevention and mitigation as well as post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.
The policy proposes the establishment of peace building organs that will have a peace summit, which will be an apex structure for peace and cohesion.
Under the peace summit, there will be a sector forum of eminent persons, a sector forum for peace and cohesion secretariat as well as conflicts early warning and response unit.
Others are county assembly committee for peace, county department for peace building and conflicts management, county peace actors’ forum, county peace council, sub-county peace committee and ward peace monitors.
The policy also proposes the establishment of a county consultative forum that brings together county and national government, civil society organisations, development partners, private sector and the media.
Another proposal is the establishment of ward peace monitors who will be identified and managed by the respective sub-county peace committees.
Their functions will include monitoring conflict events, providing early warning, and coordinating community peace activities and peace education.
The policy they said is a first step in having an effective framework for dealing with contemporary peace and security challenges in the pastoral counties.