Cross-Border Peace Initiatives

The State Department for the Development of the ASALs has been mandated to coordinate the transformation of the Cross-border regions into prosperous, peaceful and resilient communities through capacity building programmes and creation of alternative livelihoods. This programme seeks to realize reduction in violent conflict, marginalization, poverty and under-development which have been the hall mark of the north/south pastoralist’s border lands.

Function: Management and Promotion of Integrated Cross Border Activities in identified ASAL Counties.

Project Name: Cross-Border Peace Initiatives (CBPI)

Geographical Location: Marsabit County (Kenya)/Dawa (Ethiopia), West Pokot, Turkana Counties (Kenya)/Karamoja (Uganda)

Purpose: The project targets to resolve challenges of peace and security in the Cross-border regions through implementation of inter-state Integrated Socio-Economic Development frameworks. It is recognized that conflict between Cross-Border pastoralist communities have been a hindrance to exploration of potential for productivity of these regions in Livestock development, Crop production (Food Security), Cross-border trade and development of these regions. Successful implementation of the integrated programme will enable realization of the Big 4 agenda.

Brief description of the project
The project focuses on two cross-border initiatives namely; Ethiopia (Dawa region)/Kenya (Marsabit County) and Uganda (Karamoja)/Kenya (West Pokot –Turkana regions). The Marsabit (Kenya)/Dawa (Ethiopia) Cross-Border Initiative is a peace initiative following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Heads of States for Kenya and Ethiopia.
The common understanding was to build sustainable and diversified livelihoods in the cross-border region through boosting production and productivity, ensuring equitable access to quality social services, infrastructure- health and education and other safety nets. This is expected to thereafter translate to peaceful co-existence amongst the cross border communities in Kenya and Ethiopia. A similar initiative has been instituted amongst the Karamoja/Turkana and West Pokot communities.
It is expected that the Cross-border Peace initiatives will unlock the potential of these regions by creating a conducive environment for cross-border trade, increased food production, infrastructure development for sustained livelihoods.

Project Status:
a) Kenya/Ethiopia: Ongoing; Following a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2015, the project Framework has been developed and initial projects studies undertaken. Funding Agreement between the Government of Kenya (Gok) (Treasury) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been signed.

b) Kenya/Uganda, (Karamoja/Turkana-Pokot): Ongoing: Negotiations are ongoing between Kenya and Uganda around the Karamajo/Moroto area. A Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the project outline and framework has been prepared. Negotiations are ongoing towards finalization of the two documents ongoing between the two countries.

2. Function: Peace Building and Conflict Management within Arid and Semi-Arid Areas.
Objective: facilitate socio-cultural integration of communities in ASALs and the cross-border areas.
The State Department will coordinate and mobilize resources for peace building initiatives in conflict prone areas and trans-boundary areas. Planned activities are highlighted below:

  • Support Business start-up funds for youth at risk of radicalization;
  • Support peace-dividend projects;
  • Support County Peace Forums and Cross-border Peace & Security committees in frontier counties;
  • Promote inter-communal Peace agreements;
  • Facilitate Public awareness forums;
  • Support Community Policing Programmes; and
  • Support Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) mechanisms.