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Pastoralists urged to embrace alternative dispute resolution mechanisms

Members of pastoralist communities in Isiolo County have been urged to embrace use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve outstanding issues affecting members of the local communities.

Addressing journalists after a two-day meeting organized by the National Steering Committee on Peace Building stakeholders in the peace building and cohesion department called upon both individuals, groups and even entire communities to give a chance to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

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The meeting brought together peace coordinators from the various wards in Isiolo County, representatives of the national government administration as well as the County Government.

Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms entail use elders and other non-partisan arbitrators instead of embarking on the costly, time consuming and tedious court process that often ends up creating more enmity once concluded.

While addressing the participants, Isiolo County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding noted that the entire Northern Kenya region has great economic potential, but the Government and development partners have challenges unlocking that potential, due to the numerous conflicts between the various pastoralist communities that are predominant in the area.

He appealed to the respective community elders to take the responsibility of resolving conflicts in order to pave way for socio economic development of the region.

The County Chief Officer in charge of Peace, Cohesion and dispute resolution Bokao Adan noted that both the County Government and the National Government are closely working together to promote alternative justice systems and sensitize community members on the need to fully embrace the system in resolution of most of their disputes.

Bokao said that Women have also been included in the alternative Justice System committees, hence they are all inclusive, and therefore Kenyans need to give the process a chance in order to also avert the backlog of cases in the Courts of law.

Bruno Mutunga
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