Rift valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has called on the warring Maasai and Samburu communities to set aside their differences and embrace peace.
Natembeya said the communities living along the border of Isiolo and Laikipia counties must take responsibility and work together to end the constant raids and reduce tension in the border area.
Speaking in Tiamamut area yesterday during a peace meeting that brought together leaders and residents from the two sides, Natembeya noted that the solution to the problems bedeviling them lie not with the government but the members of public themselves.
He questioned why elders from the two communities have not made any efforts to resolve the disputes among them especially the constant cattle rustling raids that lead to unnecessary loss of lives.
Natembeya said that the government will facilitate meetings between elders from the two sides but issued strict directives that the meetings must be held within the villages in the affected area.
He further stated that the government will move to demarcate the border between the two counties and warned politicians against politicizing the matter.
The administrator urged both the Maasai and Samburu people to take advantage of the various government projects that have been rolled out in the area such as the Isiolo abattoir and the international airport, where they can engage themselves in producing healthy animals for slaughter at the abattoir and export quality meat and meat products to benefit the livestock owners from the region.
Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo called upon the National Government administration to review and harmonize the manner in which they issue National Police Reservist guns among the two pastoralist communities, arguing that the Maasai from Laikipia were handed NPR guns while the Samburu from Isiolo were left out.
Senator Dullo also called upon the County security teams to keenly track how the NPR guns are utilized, arguing that in most times, the firearms are used in criminal activities, which is contrary to the objectives of issuing the guns to support work being done by the police.
Dullo rubbished claims that conflicts pitting members of the two communities were as a result of border dispute, arguing that people from Laikipia and their neighbors from Isiolo had coexisted harmoniously for many years without the border issue coming between them, and urged leaders to desist from politicizing the border issue in order to divide Kenyans for their own selfish political gains.
Laikipia County Governor Nderitu Muriithi urged elders from the two Maa speaking communities to move with speed and resolve any outstanding disputes between them.
He noted that he was astonished by the level of animosity being witnessed from members of two related ethnic communities, warning that the region will continue lagging behind in terms of development as other areas make progress if lasting peace does not prevail in the area.
The peace meeting was also attended by Laikipia Senator John Kinyua, Isiolo North MP Hassan Oda, Laikipia North MP Sarah Korere, Samburu East MP Lekumuntari Lentoijoni, former national assembly speaker Francis Ole Kaparo, Isiolo County Secretary Ahmed Galgalo and MCAs from both Isiolo and Laikipia County assemblies.