Political leaders in Samburu County have distanced the Samburu community from the ongoing conflicts in Isiolo North.
In a joint press statement issued by Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal, Women Representative, Maison Leshoomo, Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda and her counterparts, Alloys Lentoimaga (Samburu North), Jackson Lentoijoni (Samburu East) and the County Assembly Speaker Solomon Lempere, the leaders said that the Samburu community is a target of cattle rustling and not an aggressor as indicated by a section of politicians from Isiolo County.
“As leadership from Samburu County we condemn in strongest terms possible, inflammatory remarks by a section of politicians from Isiolo County who openly profiled the Samburu community as aggressors in the recent waves of cattle rustling. Samburu community lives in the counties of Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit and Laikipia. It is totally unacceptable to profile a community that is also a victim of cattle rustling,” the press statement read in part.
In the same breath, leaders condemned the increasing resource based conflicts between pastoralists along the Samburu-Isiolo border, attributing it to the failure of the long rains which have forced herders from Samburu and Isiolo counties to migrate to the dry season grazing areas, along the common border.
“Each group is advancing from their side of the border and trying to obstruct the other from accessing water and pasture,” The leaders observed.
They noted that there were five incidents in which Samburu herders were shot and injured at a watering point in Koom, the incident was reported at Archers Police Post under OB number 20/18/06/202.
The leaders further said that the border incidents were triggered by stock theft by herders from Isiolo County and the incident was also reported under OB number 6/25/06/2021.
“Three Samburu herders were killed in Kamanga area within Samburu County, while six others were injured. Four other incidents where over ten people were reported killed happened in Isiolo North involving Turkana and Samburu herders from Isiolo County. Samburu County is not in any way involved in the Isiolo North conflict,” the leaders claimed.
The Governor said that after the incidents, Samburu County Government and elected leaders with other peace stakeholders conducted peace meetings in Koom and along the border from 16th to 24th June 2021 to promote peace and cohesion among pastoralists in the dry season grazing area.
“We will also reach out to Laikipia, Isiolo and Baringo County leaders for a joint peace building initiative under the spirit of Amaya Triangle Initiative,” added Lelnolkulal.
The leaders also appealed to the National government through the Ministry of Interior to beef-up security and intensify police patrols at the conflict hotspots.
“As mitigation to the conflicts, the Samburu County Government will reach out to ranchers in Laikipia County for possible grazing collaboration between ranchers and herdsmen. We have also bought 253 metric tons of relief food to support herders and vulnerable households during this dry season,” read part of the press release.