Lapsset land allocation review expected to end disputes

Lapset ProjectThe National Land Commission has agreed to review for the second time the 70,000 acres of land allocated to the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor Development Authority following disputes involving the major stakeholders, including the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Lamu County. During the meeting, chaired by the NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri and attended by representatives from the Lamu County, KPA, and the Ministry of Energy, it was agreed that only 32,500 acres would be shared among the concerned stakeholders since it was established the rest of the land is covered by the ocean.

Dr Swazuri also directed KPA to inform the land commission how much land it needed for port related activities. Lamu County Governor Issa Timamy thanked the land commission for involving the devolved unit in finding resolution over the land dispute. “The County government is the representative of the people of Lamu. Every investor willing to come and invest in Lamu must ensure they obey the rules and regulations by ensuring the county leadership is fully informed over the same,” said Mr Timamy.

The meeting came at a time when divisions were evident among Lamu leaders over NLC’s decision to allocate 70,000 acres of land at Kililana and Mashunduani areas in Hindi Division to the Lapsset Authority.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Peace slowly returns to Nadome year after dawn massacre claimed 60 lives

Peace in Nadome VillageAn uneasy calm is slowly returning to the conflict-prone Nadome at the border of Baringo and Turkana counties, one year after a dawn massacre that left at least 60 people dead. Nadome is derived from the name of a drought-resistant tree, adome, which is scattered in the arid area. A spot check by the Nation on Thursday last week established that members of the Pokot and Turkana communities, who turned against one another in 2015, have since co-existed peacefully.

However, the scars of the deadly fight are still clear with many residents yet to go back to their villages and instead moved to areas such as Lomelo, Lokori and Akoret. Deserted homes greet one upon arrival. Accessing the area by car is impossible as heavy rains pounding the region have rendered many roads impassable. River Suguta is flooded as a result of the heavy downpour. Residents complained that the government and other humanitarian agencies had abandoned them.

BODIES NOT COLLECTED

“Many of our people were killed and property destroyed and we’ve been left desolate. “Nobody bothered to collect the bodies of the people killed last year and their remains are still in the bushes,” said Leter Akodereng’. Mr Akodereng’ said residents were reluctant to go back for fear of being attacked again. They are demanding to be assured of their safety first.

Here, bodies are rarely collected for burial but are usually left in the bushes to be devoured by wild animals. Katir Assistant Chief Peter Nang’ole acknowledged that residents were yet to get any tangible assistance since the May 7, 2015 attack. Most of the casualties were women and children. “We are happy that peace efforts by political and religious leaders are beginning to bear fruit with the warring communities who could not see eye to eye last year now co-existing peacefully,” said Mr Nang’ole. At Lomelo shopping centre, residents called on the government and other stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the feeble peace.

GOVERNMENT SILENT

“The government is silent, as if nothing happened,” said Joshua Katiar, a local professional. “Those killed in the massacre had dependents. “Peace has been realised, but what is in place to sustain it?” Meanwhile, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has launched a public inquiry into the perennial conflicts in marginalised regions.

It will start its hearings Monday in Baringo County, targeting the conflict among pastoralists in the North Rift. Gun violence claimed 1,894 lives in the past three years, with 574 people killed in ethnic clashes, 260 in robberies and 277 in terror attacks, said the KNCHR. In addition, 91 police officers were killed, 180,300 residents displaced, 3,682 livestock stolen and 845 households set ablaze.

“KNCHR has a constitutional mandate of protecting, observing and promoting human rights in Kenya,” said KNCHR chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori at the launch of the inquiry in Nairobi. The inquiry will hold sittings and hearings in various centres in Baringo, East Pokot, West Pokot and Turkana.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Garissa leaders differ over plans to repatriate refugees at Dadaab camp

Political leaders in Garissa County on Sunday differed over a government decision to close the sprawling Dadaab camp and send the refugees back to Somalia over insecurity. Speaking during a funds drive in aid of Madrasa Manar in Garissa Town, some supported the government’s position saying the camps have become a training ground for Al-Shabaab militants and should be closed while others said sending them back will have serious security challenges for the country in future.

Garissa Senator Yussuf Haji, while opposing the move to repatriate more than 330,000 refugees living in Dadaab camps, said Somalia was still volatile and insecure and Al-Shabaab will recruit them for their criminal activities. “Refugees have been here for close to 30 years. They know Kiswahili and other local languages. They also know all parts of the country,” said Mr Haji, adding that forcibly repatriating them will make them join ISIS and Al-Shabaab. Garissa Leader Haji

JOIN CRIMINAL GANGS

Mr Haji said most of them have illegally acquired the Kenyan identity cards and when sent back to Somalia they could join criminal gangs and then return to the country and cause serious security challenges. “When forcibly returned to Somalia they will be taken to Al-Shabab strongholds, which will mean they will join them and attack us even more,” he said at the function which was also attended by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Ijara MP Ahmed Ibrahim Abass (ODM), however, supported the government‘s stand that the camps have been infiltrated by Al-Shabaab. He said the Dadaab refugee camps have become grounds where Al-Shabaab recruits are trained and radicalised.

“We have been hosting these people for the last 25 years. I fully support the repatriation of refugees. There is nowhere it is written that Kenya can only host refugees for this long. It’s no longer a refugee camp, it has become a training ground for Al-Shabaab,” said the Ijara lawmaker.

BE HUMANE

On his part Dadaab MP Mohamed Dahiye said although it is not logical for refugees to spend their life in the camps, the government should be humane when carrying out repatriation adding that it is not possible to send back (all) refugees within six months. He said apart from the refugees, there are hundreds of Kenyans who have been entered in the refugee data base while looking for opportunities to be relocated or food rations.

This group, he said, cannot secure Kenyan identification documents and urged the government to come up with strategy for giving them identity cards. “Many Kenyans have gone into refugee camps and have been registered in the UNHCR database. If the government will repatriate refugees, these are Kenyans, they don’t have anywhere else to go. They should be given ID cards,” said the Dadaab MP.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Narok MP Moitalel ole Kenta demands scrapping of over 19,000 Mau Forest titles

mau picA fresh political feud has erupted among Narok leaders in the emotive Mau Forest saga after an MP demanded the revocation of 19,136 title deeds held by settlers. Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta wants members of a prominent family and some former officials of the now defunct Narok County Council who allowed 18,078 hectares to be encroached on arrested and charged. The MP also said 17,101 hectares of titled land in the Maasai Mau block should be freed of human settlement.

He threatened to move to court to demand the expulsion of a community from the forest following a fresh plan to excise another 17,900 hectares for resettlement. Mr Kenta further wants the holders of title deeds on five parcels of land that was extended into the Maasai Mau forest in the 1990s to be evicted immediately. He cited Enkaroni group ranch as an example, claiming it was extended into the forest from the original 1,597 hectares to 5,582 hectares, with the extra 3,985 hectares being illegally occupied by 676 settlers.

ILLEGAL TITLES ISSUED

He said another 340 settlers encroached on Sisian group ranch after taking over 768 hectares of the forest, while Enoosokon group ranch increased by 653 hectares from the original 155 hectares and 158 illegal titles were issued. Mr Kenta also claims that about 8,000 settlers invaded Enekishomi group ranch after its original 1,748 hectares extended into the forest to 9,748 hectares. Other significant excisions, according to Mr Kenta, happened on the northern side and include the Olposimoru Forest Reserve leading to Illmotiok and Nkoben and Ololulunga settlements.

The most irregular excisions were carried out during the establishment of the 28,500-hectare Nessuit and Kaptagich settlement schemes for which 18,516 title deeds were issued, the MP said. Six years ago, the government carried out a verification of Maasai Mau Forest claimants and 12,000 families were found to be eligible for the Sh3 billion compensation package. The MP’s concerns come as a political row is escalating between Deputy President William Ruto and some Rift Valley leaders following alleged fresh evictions of settlers from Olpusimoru Forest in Maasai Mau. Pundits say the evictions could constitute a key political agenda in campaigns for the 2017 elections.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

ABOUT PDNK

Pastoralist Development Network - of Kenya

We are an advocacy NGO established under a Trust deed number 791 DI 4453128 in 2003. The network is a conglomeration of 60 pastoralists’ individuals, NGOs and CBOs and non-pastoralist institutions and individuals supporting pastoralists’ development process in Kenya. It draws its membership from North Rift, South Rift, North Eastern and Upper Eastern regions of Kenya representing 14 pastoralist Counties. Its mission is to lobby for the inclusion of the pastoralist agenda in mainstream development with the vision of a prosperous pastoralist society.

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