Religious leaders launch peace initiative in Isiolo amid simmering tension

Written By: Sylvia Ombuya/Bruno Mutunga

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An initiative that seeks to restore lasting peace in Isiolo county following days of simmering tensions has been launched.

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Under the auspices of the Isiolo Interfaith Network, the initiative will see religious leaders embark on a mission to preach peace by convening meetings with various stakeholders.

Speaking after a peace forum that brought together representatives of national government administration officers, County government officials and civil society organizations,  Isiolo Interfaith Network Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Set said religious leaders will intensify peace meetings with various stakeholders in order to ensure peace prevails especially as the country heads to the 2022 electioneering period.

 Isiolo County Commissioner Herman Shambi who opened the forum urged members of the public to be careful not to slide into tribal anarchy, warning that the recently witnessed chaos in Isiolo pitting two sets of boda boda riders from two ethnic communities was a bad precedent that should not be repeated.

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The chaos erupted after a young man who was caught red handed selling spare parts of a stolen motor cycle was beaten and torched by boda boda riders from another community, sparking outrage from members of the victim’s ethnic community who stormed Isiolo town as they sought revenge.

 Isiolo County Secretary Dr Ahmed Galgalo noted that tension was still rife and could escalate if the peace making process is not intensified.

 Galgalo cited the lack of regulation policies for the boda boda industry as a recipe for future chaos, adding that the County government would soon formulate strict guidelines that will govern operations of the boda boda industry including labeling of bikes from specific designated stages.

Abdia Mohamud, the executive director of Isiolo Peace link said the forum was timely and will help kick start peace advocacy campaigns in the wake of the three day conflict that threatened business operations in Isiolo town.



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