Stolen livestock returned as Pokot, Marakwet communities embrace peace

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The stolen cattle that was returned to the Marakwets
The stolen cattle that was returned to the Marakwets

It was song and dance as two warring communities from the North rift region celebrated a breakthrough in the fight against cattle rustling and banditry.

The Marakwet and Pokot communities have held a peaceful meeting at Kamelei along the West Pokot–Elgeyo Marakwet border that saw hundreds of residents from the two communities and their leaders witness the handing over of recovered livestock that had been stolen a week ago from the Marakwet community and was given back to their owners.

Twenty four cows and ten goats were handed back to the Marakwet residents. The livestock was recovered through dialogue from a committee that was constituted last week at the Chesogon border of the two communities where a peace accord was signed.

All elected leaders from the two Counties and the top security team also were present.

The delegation which was led by West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo and area MP David Pkosing accompanied by Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen, Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, deputy Governor Elgeyo Marakwet and clergy.

Governor Lonyangapuo thanked the communities and appealed for forgiveness from each other and said that they will bring another peace accord to the area of Kamelei to bring together the highland parts of Pokot South and Marakwet East.

Pokot South MP David Pkosing said that it was evident that peace can prevail through dialogue and engagements citing the recoveries of the stolen livestock adding that in recent times the gesture is a sure way of prevailing peace that will last and that no force will yield such results and that this was the only way forward of uniting the two communities who had been separated by banditry hostilities.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo (right) said another peace accord will be initiated in the Kamelei area
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo (right) said another peace accord will be initiated in the Kamelei area

Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen appealed to the security agencies to forgive those who had committed the act of stealing as a way forward and that they will open the several markets that used to be operational from both sides of West pokot and Marakwet border.

Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong said that their is a need for the security agencies to work closely with the elected leaders from both sides of the two communities and frequent meetings to review the process and better means of handling such situations.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi who has been the chair of the peace accord signed last week said that both the Pokots and Marakwets were equal and they should repent as they forge ahead adding that if anyone is found to have engaged in theft he/she will be handed over to the authorities for prosecution.

The peace meeting saw every speaker call for forgiveness to one another including the security personnel led by the Deputy County Commissioner Simiyu Were who said that they will adopt the dialogue way and forgive whoever had committed such acts of theft as moving forward towards eradicating the menace and bringing the communities together.

It was for the first time in recent times for the two communities to sing and dance together in celebration of the breakthrough in achieving peace along the border.

The two communities had in the past seen the displacement of population and destruction of property and schools closed.