Posted by: africanpressorganization | 29 March 2011

IOM Initiates Cross Border Peace Forum Between Kenyan and Sudanese Communities Fighting Over Scarce Resources





IOM Initiates Cross Border Peace Forum Between Kenyan and Sudanese Communities Fighting Over Scarce Resources



NAIROBI, Kenya, March 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Press Notes

A cross-border peace forum intended to mend a growing divide between Kenya’s Turkana and Southern Sudan’s Toposa communities over diminishing resources has been organized by IOM and the Kenyan government as continued famine and drought devastate northern Kenya.

The peace forum, scheduled to run from 30-31 March 2011 in Lokichoggio (Northern Kenya), is part of a Japanese-funded IOM programme that aims to mitigate resource-based conflicts among pastoralist communities in northern Kenya as part of efforts to adapt to climate change.

The two communities, respectively living either side of the Kenyan-Sudanese border, have witnessed a growing number of resource-based conflicts in recent years. Toposas cross over to Kenya in search of pasture while the Turkanas cross to Sudan in search of water.

The northern regions of Kenya are marked by massive loss of pasture, water scarcity, declining terms of trade for livestock as well as high food prices, famine, poverty and malnutrition rates.

With both communities being pastoralists, there has been an escalation in cattle rustling with retaliatory attacks between both communities leaving several people dead and thousands of livestock unaccounted for.

The ever increasing tension between the Turkana and the Toposa is a concern for both the Kenyan and Southern Sudanese governments who have partnered with IOM to help manage the autonomous cross border movements of these pastoralist communities.

The cross-border consultative forum aims to foster a cross border surveillance committee that will help monitor and give early warning to incidents of violence.

The forum will be attended by elders and community leaders from the Turkana and Toposa communities as well as by John Munyesi Kenya’s Minister for Labour (also the area Member of Parliament for Turkana North), two parliamentarians from Southern Sudan, the District Commissioners and District Officers from Kenya and Southern Sudan, as well as representatives of civil society.



International Office of Migration (IOM)


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