In April 2018, the Mandera Peacebuilding Programme facilitated the safe return of 19,000 people displaced in an upsurge of fighting and killings between the Degodia and Garre clans in Banisa Sub-County. Following the displacement of 32,000 people in the conflict, the peacebuilding team mobilized an all-inclusive, cross-clan peace process that brought together 252 stakeholders with the objective of brokering a swift ceasefire. This resulted in an agreement on the immediate cessation of hostilities, the hand-over of murder suspects to the authorities, and the safe return of IDPs. Following the cessation of hostilities, the team immediately launched an awareness campaign across Banisa Sub-County, carrying out peace rallies in 12 locations to spread information on the agreement. A total of 5,350 people was reached and there were no retaliatory attacks thanks to swift engagement with the local community.
Additionally, in order to address the public trust deficit and growing animosity among clan elders, the peacebuilding team met with separate groups of clan elders to initiate joint dialogue meetings aimed at (1) understanding the structures of the various councils of elders, (2) enhancing inter-clan harmony and cohesion, and (3) inspiring the establishment of a coordination platform in which the different clan councils of elders can engage one another. The meetings not only brought elders to work closely together but had an impact on county politics.
Furthermore, a series of cross-clan consultative meetings have been held, in which the councils of elders from the four main clans (the Degodia, Garre, Murule and the Corner tribes) participated in dialogues and were sensitized on the universal role of traditional leaders. The outcome of the cross-clan meetings resulted in clan elders agreeing to form a common structure, the Mandera Peace Council.
As a result, the Mandera Peacebuilding Team is spearheading efforts to petition the county government to integrate the Mandera Peace Council into the county governance structure, so as to sustain cross-clan collaboration and to facilitate cross clan conflict prevention. The common structure has already begun advocacy on issues related to Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), as well as building trust between security agencies and the local population, creating a foundation for further advocacy and lobbying on a common peacebuilding agenda.