The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has identified political interfere and competition of resource as factors fueling cattle rustling in North Rift region.
According to NCIC, politicians in the region have been using their communities especially during political times to get elected.
According to Mr Job Mwetich who is the commission’s lead research officer and deputy team leader said their research had established that conflict along the region has been politically instigated especially during general elections.
“We have to tame politics of hate if we have to realise peace in the Kerio Valley region,” said Mr Kimwetich, “our research shows that conflicts between communities in the region intensify towards the general election period.Politicians always whip members of their communities or clans against the other for their political gain. “Also water points and grazing fields have been identified as a major causes of conflict in this areas, he added.
He said NCIC will be engaging all political leaders in the region in order to integrate them in the peace-making process.
The commission has opened an office in Marigat, Baringo County.
Governor Alex Tolgos who hosted the team at his office said the commission should develop a policy that would be used as a guide to integrate the youth in peace talks since they (youth) are the most affected by the conflicts.
Tolgos said peace initiatives should target the young people in the region since banditry had stagnated development especially along the boundaries of neighbouring counties.
He said:”We have lost about 120 people due to banditry attacks along the Kerio Valley, majority of them being young people who have made it a sport…some even go to the extent of betting on the number of livestock they will steal. It is high time we engage these youth in peace building. Kerio Valley is very productive and once there is peace, farming will improve and the young men will be engaged.”
Hassan Ismail from Interpeace International Organization for Peace Building, an international peace building NGO, said their organization will engage local and international development partners to ensure that the region is stable and productive.
“We are in talks with the five counties of NOREB and going forward, we will be meeting with all the governors of the umbrella block to strike an agreement,” he said.
Present during the meeting was Deputy Governor Wisley Rotich who asked NCIC and Interpeace to facilitate joint social functions between members of all warring communities in the region.