By Ijoo Bosco – Torit
The Former Kenyan Minister of petroleum and mining is asking the Ateker cluster to maintain peace and harmony along the borders.
Hon. John Munyes Kionga said Toposa of South Sudan and Turkana of Kenya speak similar language and should share available resources peacefully.
The ex-minister was addressing thousands of believers at our lady of sorrow church during Sunday’s mass in Kapoeta municipality in his official visit.
Ateker community consist of Toposa of South Sudan, Turkana of Kenya and Karamojong of Uganda with common language and cultures.
Mr. Munyes said the pastoralists along the borders should share grass and water together and keep peace among themselves.
“The fighting at the borders is not good, we need to have peace. If you see a Toposa in Lokichogio, you need to see as your brother; it is good for people to stay together and should not see others as enemies. Number two, let us share resources that God has given us; I know most of Toposa have IDs for Kenya, I know also you people help a lot of Turkana here, this is all peace and togetherness; and you people you need to share grass and water, the issue of the boundary is for the national government. But we Ateker community, we need to share our available resources at the border because we are speaking the same language,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eastern Equatoria state governor, Louis Lobong Lojore said for peace to prevail, health facilities, schools, business centers need to be constructed along the borders.
Mr. Lobong hailed the current campaign for Governorship for Turakana District in Kenya on his part, adding that introduction of business center at Nadapal border will promote barter trade between the locals hence peace will exist.
“We need the new government who will come to Turkana County to look into the issues of the borders as comrade Munyes say our people depend on sharing resources the grass and water. We need your government, Turkana government to look into deep of our people at the border because when they share resources, this is what will bring peace because people will not just eat peace, they will maintain peace. When they see that there is something that they are benefiting together, what are those things; water, businesses, health, education, you can mention them comrade Munyes, we need to intrude a business center at Nadapal or along our borders,” he said.
However, Minister of Environment Josephine Napuon Cosmos reiterated that peace is the only way that will pave ways for development.
“It is only peace; we Turkana and Toposa, it is good for us to have peace because we share a lot of things like our culture, our language, our animals and it is good we can have peace. If a Toposa is going to Turkana will be treated well by Turkana, and if a Turkana come to Toposa they must be handled as brother or sister and there shall be nothing bad. Am saying all Turkana of Kenyan who are here in Kapoeta are in peace, for those who complain maybe they are criminals who have problems,” Napuon stressed.
Minister Napwon has urged the Ateker community to embrace peace at their borders and share water and grass in a peaceful way.
She said that cattle raid and revenge killing has been a major challenge between Toposa and Turkana communities at Nadapal border.
Early last week about thirty cows were raided and two children abducted by suspected youths from Turkana of Kenya.