Over 10 years ago, the Sabaot Land Defense Force had a rag tag army emerged in Mt. Elgon in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia and visited upon the population untold suffering including killings, maiming, raping and destruction of property. Although the group was eventually put down by Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), the grievances that they had and the tribal animosity caused by their activities strained relationships among the neighboring communities of the Luhyia, the Sabaot and the Teso living in the two counties of Bungoma and Trans Nzoia. ACORD intervened and helped broker the Mabanga Peace Accord that enabled restoration of peace and normalcy in the affected areas and peaceful elections in 2013.
In an effort to assess the peace and conflict context in Kenya, the National Steering Committee on Peace building and Conflict Management (NSC) under the auspices of the UWIANO Platform for Peace conducted a national conflict and electoral risk assessment country-wide. The assessment points out that there are early signs that ethnic tension is again on the rise in these counties (Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia) ahead of the 2017 Elections. This is corroborated by the NCIC Mapping and IEBC risk assessment conducted in mid-2016.
On 16th and 17th December 2016, ACORD and partners conducted a meeting with council of elders from the two counties, to assuage the fears inherent among the communities living in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties, that there wouldn't be a repeat of violence in the build up to 2017 elections.The council of elders discuss a strategy to stem this disquiet and reaffirm their commitment to the Mabanga Peace Accord and strategized on implementation of some of the remaining parts of the Mabanga Peace Accord.
Trans-Nzoia County commissioner Courtesy call : On the left in a white shirt Dickson Magotsi from national steering committee on peace building and conflict management, ministry of interior, Jacob Nanjakululu country director ACORD. At the front Professor Haman Manyora from the university of nairobi.
Participants from the luhya council of elders following the workshop proceedings.
Elders addressing the consultative meeting on peace and security in Trans -Nzoia and Bungoma counties.
Professor Manyora of University of Nairobi addressing the consultative meeting.