Kenya:Turkana-Pokot-Samburu Pastors Cross-Border Conflict Management Initiative
Turkana-Pokot-Samburu Pastors Cross-Border Conflict Management Initiative
1. Background and Context
This initiative operates in the Turkana South, Turkana East and West Pokot, Central Pokot, East Pokot and larger Samburu Districts of Kenya.. The beneficiaries are the Turkana, Pokot and Samburu communities. These three groups are primarily pastoralists, and conflicts typically arise over access and utilization of scarce natural resources that are essential to pastoralist livelihoods.
The Turkana-Pokot conflict arises out of scarcity and competition over pasture and watering points and territorial/border disputes. Disputes and differences are compounded by minimal routine interaction and communication between the two communities. The Turkana-Pokot conflict occurs in a context of weak or non-existent structures and institutions for conflict prevention, mitigation, and response.
The conflict factors are exacerbated by harsh climatic conditions and recurrent drought prevailing on the Pokot side. Other contextual dynamics of this conflict include unregulated and widespread availability of small arms, retrogressive cultural practices, and marginalization of these pastoral communities from mainstream development.
The succesive Joint Pastors Forums usually featuring in the Regional Assembly Peace forums instructed it’s committee members to launch a consultation Process on reconciliation. Peace on Disarmament and common sharing of resources to be drawn together included, among others, the experience of the Peace churches. It is the new convictions concerning the Peace making implications of the gospel in major church bodies that led the Pastors Forums to embrace Peace church language
In the broadest sense the Pastors forums aimed mostly in divesting efforts to restore normalcy where chaos had reigned to be supreme. The Pastors just stepped time to introduce the Pawerful word of the bible to regulate, reduce, or eliminate conflicts.
2. Initiative Description
The Pastors in the 20th century have seen a renewed interest in resolving conflicts following the numerous death that are precipitated by the election malfunction in the many african failing states. Many objected to the theological liberalism of the wider pacifist movement and held to a church which made them skeptical of disarmament schemes by the various democratic governments.
The Church Peace Mission and the General Conference Peace and Social Concerns Committee) have called on Pokot and turkana communities to support non violent means of resloving conflict. Concerns were also expressed by small groups of faith particularly among the Turkanan and Pokot that accumulation of arms and counter reveng have never borne any fruits in resolving the ever growing conflict scenario.
The Turkana-Pokot-Samburu Pastors Cross-Border Conflict Management Initiative began in November 2010 and has a planned duration of 12 months. The aim of the initiative is to encourage and promote adoption of mechanisms by the 3 communities to resolve their ways amicably and also encourage co-operation and sharing of natural resources and harmonious co-existence among the three communities.
Through this initiative, the communities will engage in Non violent problem-solving processes on the issues of access, use, and ownership of natural resources essential for to pastoralists’ livelihoods.
on the fragile environment and ease competition for access to water. Support will also be provided to facilitate the reopening of cross-border markets and access roads. In addition to enhancing communication between the communities, access roads will also be instrumental in conflict early warning and response as well as in promoting trade and business among the warring communities.
The objectives of this Initiative are:
• Establish mechanisms and agreements to ensure peaceful access and sharing of the available natural resources among the warring communities of Pokot, Samburu and Turkana:
• Facilitate communities to engage in co-operative and strategic cross-border initiatives and in mutually negotiating access to pasture;
• Strengthen existing conflict prevention, mitigation and response institutions and structures and
• Promote inter-ethnic interaction and encourage the opening up of closed areas along the borders of the Pokot, Turkana and Samburu communities.
5. Principal Activities
The main Activities in this initiative include:
• Facilitating the re-opening of cross-border markets and community-managed rehabilitation of access roads.
• Facilitating inter-community dialogue and negotiation processes to reach agreements on resource access and use.
• Organizing and facilitating regular cross-border inter-community dialogue and confidence-building forums to support the peaceful management of ongoing conflicts, enforce and monitor mutual agreements on resource sharing, and prevent the emergence or escalation of violent incidents.
6. Expected Results and Outcomes
The Initiative’s specific expected Outcomes:
• Increased non-violent inter-ethnic interaction and collaboration.
• Reduced tensions and competition over access to resources vital to pastoralists’ livelihoods.
• Cooperative sharing of natural resources and peaceful co-existence among the conflicting communities.
• Problem-Solving Cross-Border Dialogue and Networking enhanced.
• Local capacity for conflict prevention, mitigation and response strengthened.