From: Public Communication Department

 DSC4301East African Affairs Principal Secretary, John Konchellah has reiterated the importance of cross border peace and security as a prerequisite for economic prosperity, social cohesion and political stability.

In a speech read on his behalf by Director of Political Affairs in the State Department of East African Affairs, David Njoka, during the 42nd commemoration of the peace accord between Kenya’s Turkana and Uganda’s Karamojong communities, Konchellah noted that development and prosperity could only happen in a peaceful environment.

The ceremony was marked at Lokiriama area on the far-flung western part of Turkana County, where, 42 years ago, the elders of the then warring communities buried weapons used in the then frequent combats as a sign of permanent peace between them.

He urged communities living along the various borders to jealously guard the mutual peace and cooperation amongst them, warning that in the absence of peaceful coexistence, general suspicions, conflicts and anarchy set in to disrupt normal lives.

The PS praised the elders who signed the Lokiriama Peace Accord 42 years ago for their foresight and urged the current generation of elders living along the borders to emphasize peaceful solutions to all issues that may lead to any slight conflicts between their peoples. DSC4214

Meanwhile, Konchellah reiterated the important role played by regional integration in the socio-economic development of East Africa, noting that with sustained peace and security, the citizens of this region would soon enjoy the fruits of economic development accruing from the bloc.

He noted that the East African Community integration agenda was to ensure the eventual economic prosperity, social cohesion and political unity of the people of this region, who are currently separated by geographical boundaries but remain cultural tied together.

Konchellah enumerated the various achievements so far registered through the EAC integration process, such as the free movement of persons, goods, services and labour under the EAC Common Market Protocol.

He also cited the signing and operationalization of the Customs Union which has brought about the Single Customs Territory whose objective is to speed up goods circulation in the region by collapsing national borders and ensuring that goods destined for any part of East Africa are charged duty only once at the point of entry.

 DSC4276The PS further noted that faster and economical cross border movement of goods would be realized with the operationalization of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) in which cross border clearance procedures will be conducted only once at the point of entry, unlike the current situation where such procedures are conducted on either side of the border.

Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok, who hosted the ceremonies, and Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Rt. Rev. Cornelius Korir, who was the Chief Guest, both emphasized the importance of peace among the border communities and urged the residents to abide by the binding resolutions and decisions for the maintenance of peace in the region.