A look at conflicts in Northern Kenya reveals that the conflict between the Turkanas and Pokots manifests many threats to the traditional life of pastoralism. David Lamton, from the Turkana community, is a pastor at the Free Pentecostal Fellowship of Kenya (FPFK) in Kainuk and a businessman. From the year 2010, David has been attending Shalom workshops in Kainuk, in order to acquire skills for conflict transformation and reconciliation.
Having acquired the skills of conflict transformation and reconciliation during SCCRR workshops, David set about to bring together Ngorokos (warriors) from both Turkana and Pokot communities as one of the steps to the call towards reconciliation of the two communities. David’s efforts brought together seven warriors from each community, a step that David considers a great milestone and the beginning of a transformative peace in the West-Pokot and Southern Turkana Regions. Attempts to bring warriors together in the past have not been easy for many stakeholders, as most warriors often live in the forests.
David recalls: “When the two groups of warriors came together, they started to feel hopeful. People who have often seen each other as enemies started to talk. Some of the warriors ex-pressed forgiveness towards each other.”
At the meeting, David acted as the lead mediator between the warriors from the two communities. Even though bringing the two groups together was a first step, David vows to continue encouraging the warriors especially who he says are the perpetrators of the conflict, to keep negotiating and engaging in the efforts to promote peace.
“This is a very big step for our communities,” he emphasized. “I have broken through to the warriors. I am now going to continue teaching on how we can transform conflicts. I can do this with what I am learning at SCCRR workshops. Thanks to SCCRR.”
In his concluding remarks, David said that he looks forward to other meetings or trainings by Shalom that are aimed at establishing sustainable peace. He affirms that without the skills from the workshop, he would not do much. It is his prayer that the efforts he has already began are followed up in order to help realize a harmonious co-existence between the Pokot and Turkana communities.