Catholic Bishops Call for Concerted Efforts in Finding Peace in North Rift Kenya

Bishop Henry Juma Odonya (center) of Kitale Diocese flanked by Bishop John Mbinda of Lodwar (left) and Bishop Cleophas Oseso Tuka (right) of Nakuru Diocese following a Holy Mass to pray for peace at Kapedo. Credit: KCCB

A section of Catholic Bishops in Kenya are calling for concerted efforts to find lasting peace in the country’s North Rift region which has been hit by security challenges caused by violent conflicts involving cattle rustling among pastoralist groups.

In their Wednesday, September 27 statement following a Holy Mass to pray for peace at Kapedo in the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar, Bishops John Mbinda of Lodwar,  Henry Juma Odonya of Kitale Diocese, and Cleophas Oseso Tuka of Nakuru Diocese called on the people of God to create space for peace building.

“We are very much aware of the challenges that our people in this region are going through and it is for this reason we call upon all stakeholders and all people of goodwill to hold hands together so that we move forward to a lasting solution to the challenges of peace in this region,” the Bishops said in a message that was read out by Bishop Odonya. 

They said there is a need to “prioritize the meaningful inclusion and public participation of all groups including youths, local communities, political and religious leaders.”

“We must re-dedicate ourselves to the vision of mutual partnership among all stakeholders in order to foster peace and human development in our region,” they said. 


“Let us pray and create space for building peace,” they said and added that everyone suffers when there is no peace.

“Let us work together and ask the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom to be peacemakers in our region,” they said.

A March 31 report by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) indicates that the violent activities of pastoralist groups in the region have greatly increased in 2023 as compared to last year.

“ACLED records 69 political violence events involving pastoralist militias from 1 January to 24 March 2023, a 77% increase compared to the period from 10 October to 31 December 2022,” the report indicates.

The report further shows that violence involving pastoralist militias accounted for almost 30 percent of total political violence events in Kenya in the first quarter of 2023, resulting in at least 73 reported fatalities.

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ACLED also reports that competition over grazing land is one of the multiple factors contributing to the complexity of violence in the Kenyan region.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.