Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni have reached a mutual agreement, ending all forms of cross conflict between them. This resolution was arrived at during the Cross-Border Programme for Sustainable Peace and Development event held in Uganda.
The United Nations-supported initiative, which seeks to end hostilities among neighbouring communities, also enhances development in the region by promoting non-violent interactions and collaborations.
Speaking at the ceremony in Moroto town, Uganda, President Kenyatta highlighted the importance of the deal in putting an end to the clash between communities. “This program … will help all of us to ensure that we have peace, our people live together and also to enable us (to) develop,” Kenyatta said.
The President noted that it is through wealth creation, as envisioned in the signed peace and development agreement, that poverty can be fought successfully.
Since the colonial period, communities in the region have fought each other over pastoral livelihoods and cattle, which most recently has resulted in violent reactions and retaliations.
The East African neighbours have now opted for a more peaceful means to solve their differences. However, this will not be the first of its kind as there has been a series of pacts between countries in the region. Several years of heightened tensions and conflicts are being resolved by several agreements between states in the East African Community (EAC).
A few weeks ago, Ventures Africa reported that Rwanda and Uganda had ended months of brewing trade and diplomatic conflicts. Also, formal trade between Rwanda and Burundi resumed this week after a political spat that led to disruption in the movement of goods and people between the two countries for four years.
Experts suggest that a likely reason for this trend is the realization of their economic strength as a group. The willingness of EAC governments to set aside their differences could also be inspired by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Trading under the agreement, which seeks to enhance the free movement of goods and people across the continent, is expected to take effect next year and the region would be better off competing with the rest of Africa as a united bloc.
In a region where conflict and chaos abound, progress, development and wealth are difficult to attain. And in the words of President Kenyatta, “Peace is the foundation of all that is good. When there’s no peace, no development, there’s no wealth that can be made.”