Pastoral Communities living along the Kenya-Uganda border have started a cross-border peace-building initiative to establish lasting peace in the region. West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo led a delegation of leaders and residents from Counties of West Pokot, Trans Nzoia and Baringo to Bukwo District in Uganda for a peace run.
The education peace run held at Amanangar playing ground in Loch village was organized by BUSDA (Bukwo University Students Development Association) comprising of Bukwo, Pokot University students from Kenya and Uganda. The initiative is meant to facilitate the mindset change of residents and communities who used to engage in tussles for many years. West Pokot Governor Lonyangapuo said the program aims at promoting education to eliminate petty differences because of insecurity and will also promote the East African unity.
Bukwo District Regional Commissioner Mr. Shabban Kachemeti said the initiative will help create awareness among young people concerning the advantage of education. He said that the border is a colonial demarcation and moreover, with the realization of peace, there can be free interaction without any limitations. “We need a cordial relationship, as one people. Disarmament has been done in Uganda and we want Kenyan leaders to make sure it’s also done in Kenya to ensure we have a peaceful co-existence,” said Kachemeti.
West Pokot woman representative Ms Lillian Tomitom called on residents to embrace and maintain peace. “Women and children move freely because of the peace that has been realized. We interact freely and this leads to regional development,” she said, “We had insecurity problems along the Trans Nzoia, Uganda and West Pokot borders but now there is hope.”
Kacheliba member of parliament Mark Lomunokol urged residents from both countries to embrace education to realize long lasting peace and urged the national government to invest in peace schools and include peace programs in its budget.