Calls for peace on Sunday dominated the 10th anniversary of the Marsabit plane crash where leaders on a peace mission lost their lives.
Led by Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatan Kanacho, area leaders said the only way to express appreciation and honour the fallen leaders is for the residents to reconcile and forge ahead with development.
Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale and Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro, who graced the occasion, called on the residents to embrace peace and support the peace initiatives which were being pursued by the fallen heroes.
The two leaders commended the county leadership for their efforts to integrate all communities, saying without peace no tangible development can be realized.
“Today we are requesting you to maintain peace. People say you can choose a friend but you cannot choose your neighbour. It is God who placed Rendille, Gabbra, Borana, Burji and all other Kenyans in Marsabit County. Therefore, you cannot remove any of them from here,” said Duale.
Senate speaker Ethuro challenged locals to learn to co-exist and forge ahead in developing their county.
He appealed to the residents to emulate the fallen leaders by championing peace and unity amongst themselves.
“The death of our leaders should be a lesson for us to spread the message of peace in Marsabit and Kenya in general,” said the Senate Speaker.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chairman Francis Ole
Kaparo – who has been in the forefront championing peace in the region – challenged the leaders and residents of Marsabit to work hard to ensure peace does not become elusive again in their county.
“I pray that you never again follow that destructive road of killing one another,” said Ole Kaparo.
Today marks 10 years since plane crash in Marsabit that was on a peace mission.
The plane was carrying officials from Nairobi to Marsabit to participate in a peace conference among factions in northern Kenya.
Governor Yatan Kanacho said all county leaders have resolved to work together to ensure all communities live in peace and unity.
“Today is a special day for us as we remember our loved ones who lost their lives while trying to improve the living standards of our people. They perished not because they had done anything wrong but they died while trying to put in place structures to facilitate peaceful co-existence between our communities,” said the Marsabit Governor.
All leaders who spoke said they are tired of killings and empty peace talks, noting that time has come for people from all tribes in Marsabit to shun hatred and unite in building a peaceful county which they will all be proud of.
They said fallen leaders had shown them the right path which needs to be followed by the sons and daughters of Marsabit County.
Others speakers during the function included Senator Godana Hargura and all members of county assembly who cautioned residents against falling prey to tribal politics.