Leading regional leaders drawn from Kenya, Uganda and Southern Sudan on 19 September 2013 vowed to build greater regional peace and stability among the Karamojong cluster communities living along the country’s border lines.
Turkana Senator, John Munyes, Governor, Josephat Nanok and Uganda’s Minister for State and Internal Affairs James Lokeres pleaded with the largely pastoral communities in the region to embrace peaceful coexistence and concentrate on development matters.
They made the clarion call in Lokiriama, 50 Kilometers from Uganda’s border while marking this year’s 40th anniversary of the Lokiriama peace accord signed on 19 December 1973.
“We should learn and borrow good practices from the peace accord and sustain peace among the communities living the region,” said Munyes while addressing hundreds of local residents who turned up to grace the colorful event.
The Lokiriama Peace Accord is a peace treaty between the Turkana people of Kenya and the Matheniko of Uganda signed 40 year ago as a commitment by both parties to peacefully co-exist. The accord derives its name from Lokiriama, a remote town in Turkana District, North Western Kenya that is inhabited by the Turkana.
A symbolic monument for this accord was built during the time. Elders from both Turkana and Matheniko buried instruments of conflict, honey, milk and traditional brew in a pit over which the monument was constructed. The greater Karamoja Cluster encompasses regions within northeastern Uganda, South Sudan, northwestern Kenya, and southwest Ethiopia. These regions are inhabited by nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoral peoples who live in fragile and unpredictable ecological zones.
“I call upon regional leaders to put more effort in ensuring our people embrace peace in years to come,” said Nanok.
He was optimistic that recent discoveries of both oil and water would put to an end the resource based conflict that has plagued the area for years.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other humanitarian actors have been in the frontline in initiating sustainable interventions in livelihoods, food security, education, child labour and health.
The project “Strengthening Human Security in the Border Communities of Turkana, Kenya” officially launched in 2012 is a 6.1 Million USD 3-year project funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security.