Leaders from Marsabit and Mandera counties have urged communities living along the Kenya-Ethiopia border to co-exist peacefully.
Speaking during a fundraiser in aid of Tolki Special Interest Group in Moyale on Sunday, the leaders were happy that clashes witnessed in the two border counties in first two years of devolution had ended.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba and his Marsabit County counterpart Ukur Yatani said the skirmishes between communities were outdated and had no place in current world.
“The communities living both on Kenyan and Ethiopian sides are one. There’s no need of fighting. We should resolve issues amicably,” Mr Roba said.
He added: “It is through peaceful co-existence that our children can go to school and develop.”
Mr Yatani, who was praised by leaders from the two counties for helping ensure peace among 14 communities, said Marsabit and Mandera residents should also “live like brothers and sisters and be free to invest in the region.”
“Our Mandera brothers and sisters are free to venture here. We are all one,” Mr Yatani said.
Mr Yatani and Mr Roba said it was only through peace that the two vast counties could develop.
They urged locals to shun leaders out to divide them along tribal lines.
Similar sentiments were echoed by MPs Mohamed Maalim Mohamud (Mandera West), Adan Mohamed Noor (Mandera North) and Mohamed Abdow Haji (Banisa), Chachu Ganya (North Horr), Roba Duba (Moyale) and Mandera Woman Rep Nasra Ibrahim.
Also present was Marsabit Deputy Governor Omar Abdi Ali.
The harambee at Moyale Baraza Park raised Sh19.4 million.
Mr Yatani said all communities in Marsabit, Kenya’s biggest county in terms of land size, had benefited from job opportunities in his government.
“That is why we even have an El Molo MCA,” he said.
The El Molo, who live on shores of Lake Turkana, are one of smallest communities in the country. It is threatened with extinction.
Mr Roba condemned last week’s terror attack in Mandera that left six people dead.
He urged Kenyans to report suspicious people in the country to authorities to help fight terrorism.
On politics, the leaders vowed to unite under one umbrella party in next year’s general elections.
Although Mr Roba and four MPs indicated they had all resolved to use Jubilee Party to vie in the coming elections, Mr Yatani was non-committal.
Mr Yatani said the leaders would form a “super alliance” ahead of the polls.
He said the alliance would bring together all communities in Marsabit for unity and development
He said some residents of Mandera could have been aware of last week’s attackers and asked them to be sharing information with authorities.
He further cautioned Kenyans against radicalisation.