Communities along Kenya Ethiopia and Somalia borders have sealed a deal to enhance peace, security, trade and movement of people.
Mandera Triangle Cross-Border agreement signed by the three countries seeks to provide an opportunity for collaboration, growth and stability.
The deal was reached during a consultative forum of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) states and the county government of Mandera in partnership with Interpeace.
The meeting, which concluded on Thursday brought together 60 delegates, focused on reviewing and revitalising the Conflict, Prevention, Management and Resolution (CPRM) platform.
The Mandera Triangle, comprising Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia represents not only a geographic convergence but also a merging of cultures, histories and aspirations.
Mandera County Commission Amos Mbaria, Somalia’s Beled Xawa DC Hassan Mohamud Ali and Ethiopia’s Mubarak DC Ibrahim Abdullahi Issack signed the deal.
The conference resolved that all border meetings by local administrators, county government and civil society organisations will be undertaken under the auspices of IGAD CPMR platform to enhance peace, security, trade and movement of people.
Border units from the three countries agreed to hold regular meetings twice a year, specifically on the first week of March and the first week of October annually.
“These meetings provide a structured and consistent platform for dialogue and cooperation, allowing for ongoing process in peacebuilding initiatives. The meetings will be on a rotational basis across the three countries,” a statement said.
The resolution of the conference shall be shared with the joint border commission, IGAD and respective organs of each member countries.
Interpeace shall, through the respective Kenya-Ethiopia and Somalia office, support periodic review of the resolutions.
Interpeace is an independent international organisation dedicated to building peace. Established in 1994 by the United Nations, it focuses on developing innovative peace-building solutions.
It has been active in Kenya since 2014, operating in partnership with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).
Peace-building efforts commenced in Mandera County in 2016, where inter-clan conflicts have successfully been reduced.
“Building on this success, we expanded our activities to Wajir County and the North Rift region in 2019, and in 2022 and 2023, we initiated projects in Marsabit and Laikipia counties, respectively,” a statement from the Interpeace said.
To address the threat of Al Shabaab, the cross-border administrations proposed to collaborate and coordinate joint operations.
The meeting agreed that all cross-border administration shall address their internal clan conflicts and prevent any spill over.
The parties further agreed that cross-border administrations in partnerships with Civil Society Organisations shall address any conflict that transcends the border.
They committed to establishing a robust cross-border mechanism to address drugs and human trafficking.
The forum acknowledged experiencing an influx of economic immigrants moving across the Kenya-Ethiopia border.
The meeting said the movement was a threat as there is a high risk of Al Shabaab recruiting people.