By Mary Koech
In April, 2016, the Nyang’atom of Ethiopia and the Turkana of Kenya met to discuss how they can create an agreement whereby both communities can live in peace. This much needed agreement came as a result of frequent raids and attacks on villages between the two ethnic groups, usually because of livestock and grazing land. The agreement was initiated by participants of SCCRR’s training program and local community leaders from Turkana. The meeting was for two days; one day meeting in Kangaten, Ethiopia and another day in Kibish, Kenya.
During this meeting, community leaders agreed on resolutions in order to prevent violence amongst the communities:
- If a person is killed on either side, the offender has to pay 100 goats or 50 cows for every person killed.
- The Nyang’atom proposed that they, together with the Turkana of Kenya, go and meet with the Toposa of South Sudan on importance of having peace among the three communities.
- The two communities (Nyang’atom and Turkana) agreed to share pasture and water because the Nyang’atom usually have water points and the Turkana have vast lands of pasture.
- They also chose a committee to ensure implementation of the agreement; 14 members from the Turkana and 7 members from the Nyang’atom.
The resolutions were welcomed by all the communities. The challenge in any agreement is the implementation of the process and the commitment from each party involved. Communication network is unavailable which presents another challenge when it comes to reporting incidents to the relevant authority. Shalom will continue to encourage the community efforts of peace by empowering them with more peace-building techniques so building their capacities to create a future of peace.