NAIROBI - On 5th February 2014, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed former Speaker of the National Assembly and Chief Scout of Kenya Hon. Francis Ole Kaparo and Garissa County Senator Yusuf Haji to mediate between warring communities in Marsabit County. The president picked the two men when he hosted leaders from communities in Marsabit County at State House in Nairobi for peace talks to end the crisis.
In his remarks the President asked the leaders to put aside their differences and cultivate peace and security. The Deputy President on the other hand said that “We have to work together in ensuring that peace and stability reigns in our areas of jurisdiction.”
The Chief Scout together with his Co-Mediator were tasked to visit the conflict area, identify and understand the underlying issues then facilitate negotiations among the communities in order to find a solution to the crisis and report back to the President. They were shocked by the destruction and humanitarian crisis the fighting had left behind. “This kind of fighting brings poverty and breakdown of society. I can say it was a miserable state of affairs,” said the Chief Scout.
Ten days later Hon. Kaparo and Sen. Haji together with the Marsabit leaders agreed on the formation of an oversight team that will implement measures to ensure lasting peace in the area. Some of the issues detailed in the agreement included equal distribution of resources, reconstruction and resettlement of the displaced. Hon. Kaparo said that the negotiations aimed at ending the conflict were successful because all the warring groups had respected a ceasefire which had been imposed.
In an interview, with the National Coordinator of Messengers of Peace in Kenya, Nelson Opany, the Chief Scout thanked the President for the opportunity to serve the country in such a noble task. He attributed a lot of his abilities to the experiences of having served as the Speaker of the National Assembly for a very long time and also to the values and fundamental principles of the Scouting Movement.
He called on all Scouts and non Scouts to become active Messengers of saying that, “There is really no joy in killing. God did not bring us in this world to destroy. According to the Scriptures you are mandated to develop and not to destroy. I urge all Scouts and other citizens to respect human life. We should live together in a state of friendship and always ensure that you don't do anything that hurts your fellow citizen; remembering that we are Messengers of Peace.”
The Chief Scout is indeed a true Messenger of Peace and Kenya Scouts Association is proud of the great leadership and example he continues to provide.
Story by Nelson Opany, National Coordinator, Messengers of Peace Kenya