By Paulson Erot Tadeo
Kainuk is located in Turkana South sub-county constituency, predominantly inhabited by the Turkana community. The residents of Kainuk, Turkwel Gorge (Lorokon), Loyapat, Kaakong’u, Kaputir and Kaalemng’orok have been living in tension due to threats of cattle rustling between the Turkana community and their neighboring Pokot community. Cycles of cattle raids and banditry have been frequent occurrences in Kainuk for years and many people have lost their lives, livestock stolen and property destroyed as a result.
Shalom has continued impacting knowledge and analytical skills of conflict management, resolution and transformation, to various key influential opinion shapers of the community. In July, Shalom conducted a workshop in Kainuk on conflict resolution that targeted chiefs, the chief elders, religious leaders, teachers, women and youth group representatives. During this workshop, participants confirmed that there is currently some normality in the area that can be viewed as peace between the Turkana and the Pokot. This is because people have been able to resume their work and even travel to various neighbouring villages. The participants attributed this to the efforts of SCCRR through the training of key stakeholders from both the Turkana and the Pokot communities on issues surrounding Conflict Management, Resolution and Transformation; as well as efforts by community elders, political and religious leaders.
Samuel Kapengi, a chief elder (who is a Samburu living in Kainuk), stated that continuous conflict and lack of peace between these rival communities have brought ‘death and poverty.’ He pointed out that “… there have been attempts by various actors to bring peace between the Turkana and Pokot communities for over 27 years and these efforts have accumulated to produce the ‘peace’ that we are currently experiencing in Kainuk and its environs.”
The chief of Kaalemng’orok location, John Kang’iro, stated that the current stability is a result of peace-initiatives from both Shalom and leaders from the two counties. Father Javier, Kainuk Parish Priest added: “Since I came to Kainuk, I have never seen or heard of residents moving freely between Lorokon and Kainuk, especially using a motorcycle. Today, some of our participants here in our midst were able to come all the way from Lorokon using motor-bicycles. This is a miracle to me, we need to sustain this peace and we are grateful for all the help from SCCRR.” Joseph Liman, an Evangelist in Kainuk echoed Fr. Javier’s sentiments and said that residents from both sides are now able to go on with their day-to-day business such as producing charcoal without much fear.
The Shalom team guided the participants in drawing an action plan that will help them to continue searching for sustainable positive peace between the two rival-communities. The participants decided to choose twenty key-influential people led by the chiefs; ten from the Turkana side and the other ten from the Pokot side who will spearhead the peace negotiation process between these two communities. SCCRR strives to continue equipping key influential opinion shapers from these two communities with analytical skills on conflict management, resolution and transformation. This will enable them to open avenues for dialogue among themselves and therefore, cultivating the culture of peaceful co-existence between the two communities.