The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Interior and Coordination of National Government, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, met the Marsabit Interfaith Delegation to discuss peace-making efforts among conflicting communities in the County. The conflict has so far claimed 40 lives since September last year.
The CS is expected to visit the County shortly. He will meet both political and religious leaders. Some in the latter group are expected to arrive from neighboring Ethiopia. Dr. Matiang’i will then chair a meeting with the invited guests and later oversee ceremonies expected to settle on lasting solutions to the conflict whose genesis has been established as limited resources occasioned by drought and famine, dirty politics and constituency boundaries.
Dr. Matiang’i said he’ll prioritize the non-partisan involvement of community elders and spiritual leaders as part of the resolution mechanism of the conflict. He further directed that cross-border meetings between stakeholders from Kenya and Ethiopia in the Marsabit area be attended at the highest level by the National Government Administration. “This is a vital duty that should not be delegated to junior officers. I will direct the Principal Administrative Secretary to ensure that this happens,” he said.
During the meeting, the Delegation raised concerns over the National Police Reservists (NPRs) who seem to be taking sides in the conflict. The leaders supported the immediate and simultaneous disarmament of anyone in the possession of firearms including the NPRs.
The Delegation also expressed concern that some radio stations and social media pages are being employed for incitement. Dr. Matiang’i warned that all media houses operating or broadcasting in Marsabit County should desist from spreading hate messages or risk being shut down. The CS also said that social platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter will be closely monitored by law enforcement for hate messages. Any culprit caught will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
Further, Dr. Matiang’i directed the Secretary for Internal Security (SIS) to speak to the Director-General of the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to review all media stations operating in the County. He said the media houses status and the manner in which they operate will be analyzed so as to ensure that they are conforming with the laid-out operational procedures and that they are not sources of spewing or spreading hate messages.
The CS thanked the Interfaith Delegation for being non-partisan and being unrelenting in the fight for peace in the face of hostility. “You have never given up in this good fight. The Government thanks and appreciates your efforts for continuing to stand on the side of peace,” he said.
The meeting was attended by Bishop Peter Thuku, Catholic Diocese Marsabit, Rt. Rev Qampicha Daniel Wario, Bishop, ACK Diocese, Marsabit, Sheikh Mohammed Nur Kuli, Chairperson, Marsabit Interfaith Council, Jacob Harule Ekallo, Coordinator of the Catholic Family, Hajj Omar Boru Kutara, Secretary SUPKEM, Marsabit, Rev. Lole Said Abila, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sheikh Bashir Somo, Secretary Council of Imams and Preachers, Godfrey Godana Guyo, Coordinator Catholic Justice and Peace, Ven. Kargi Denga Tasi, Provost ACK St. Peter’s Cathedral and Rev. William Godana Wako, Africa Inland Church, Marsabit.