Frontier counties urged to adopt anti-conflict Bill

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The 10 frontier county assemblies on Monday were urged  to swiftly pass and implement the  Peacebuilding and Conflict Management Bil, 2021.

The Bill addresses problems obstructing peace, cohesion and security in the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) counties.

The counties are Garissa, Isiolo, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and West Pokot.

All counties have suffered from clan disputes, cross-border conflicts,  boundary disputes, cattle rustling and banditry, poverty and lack of development.

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Chairman Ahmed Sheike of the Forum for Peace and Cohesion within FCDC said while some conflicts are spontaneous, others are protracted.

They are triggered by political incitement, border disputes, pasture land, natural resources, drought and climate change, drugs, small arms, unresolved historical injustices, terrorism and negative use of social media.

The Bill aims to counteract these problems with functioning institutions, capacity building, conflict prevention and response, the primacy of law enforcement, traditional conflict prevention and mitigation as well as post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.

“Adoption of the Bill shall guarantee all these,” Sheikh said.

Haroun Musdaf, a technical officer in the FCDC, said on Monday the past two months have been focused on public participation forums in the counties within the bloc to familiarise residents with the document.

He spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting at the Mwana Arafa Hotel on Lamu Island.

The council has visited six counties and will visit the remaining four by the end of next month. They are Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit and West Pokot. Afterward, the council will meet assembly speakers, the NCIC and donors, Musdaf said.

Musdaf said they want  feedback to enable them to put the document into operation by the end of the year or early next year.

He said it would complement local, county, national and regional efforts towards conflict management.

Lamu East subcounty social development officer Hassan Mwachimako said the bill will harmonise and provide a tiered institutional structure to prevent and manage conflicts.

Lamu Executive for Education, Gender and Sports Paul Thairu said the Bill will aid the fight against terrorism and radicalisation in the FCDC counties.

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