The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and Conflicts Management in Turkana County.1960-2015
Ogoti, Veronica Moraa
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Conflicts can result from the clash of two fundamentally different sets of expectations of behaviour. Conflicts in Turkana County have existed since 1960 and they have had adverse effects on residents of the region. The Turkana people are pastoralists and largely depend on livestock for their livelihood. These conflicts are the major causes of social, economic and political stagnation in the region. Various stakeholders have tried to manage and resolve these conflicts. This study investigated the role of the Catholic justice and peace commission (CJPC) in conflicts management in Turkana County. The study was guided by three objectives; To examine the role of the CJPC in conflicts management in Turkana County, to investigate the approaches of the CJPC in conflicts management in Turkana County and to analyse the economic, social and political effects of the interventions by the Catholic Justice and Peace commission (CJPC) in Turkana North and Turkana East Sub-Counties, 1960-2015. The study employed protracted social conflict (PSC) theory by Edward Azar (1990) to analyse the CJPC in conflict management, the approaches used and the economic, social and political effects of the interventions by the Catholic Justice and Peace commission (CJPC) in Turkana North and Turkana East Sub-Counties. This study was limited to the locations of Turkana East, and Todonyany in Turkana North sub-counties, because these are the areas whose development has lagged as result of lack of peace due to internal and external raids. The study utilized a descriptive research design. The study employed both primary and secondary sources in data collection. The main sources of data accessed were the archives, library and field work. From these, source, data was collected through mainly qualitative techniques. Purposive sampling was used to identify the respondents for the interview. The targeted population was 400 participants. The research instruments used in data collection were the questionnaires and interview guides. Data analysis was done mainly through qualitative methods by first arranging the data thematically and periodically before being presented in a narrative form. The period covered by the study starts from 1960 and ends in 2015. Local actors such as elders, women, Karacuna, Ngimurok, Religious leaders, peace committee members and activities by some NGOs, CBOs and FBOs sustained this conflict. Interventions by the Government and other bodies failed in mitigation efforts due to poor conflict management strategies. CJPC stepped in through a different approach to effectively address the problem of conflicts in the region. The government of Kenya together with other bodies expanded educational facilities in these two regions and sensitized the two communities on the effects of conflicts. It was recommended that the two communities should come up with traditional strategies that conform to their belief systems and practices that can be used to mitigate the prevailing conflicts. Therefore, the Pokot and Turkana communities needed to revive their practices of intermarrying, hold traditional ceremonies together and borrow customs from each other to strengthen their relations.