UN Acting Resident Coordinator in Kenya Siddarth Chatterjee told Xinhua in Nairobi that the United States has already spent 7 million U.S. dollars on the Kenya side to facilitate peace efforts.
“The UN has also set aside funds to help reduce the cause of communal conflict on the Ethiopia side,” Chatterjee said.
“The UN is committed to making investments in social services in order to improve access to health services and education,” he said on the sidelines of the Consultative Meeting on the Development of the East Africa Region Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Strategy.
The cross border peace initiative is being conducted jointly by the United Nations, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), as well as the governments of Kenya and Ethiopia.
The common border of Kenya and Ethiopia is an arid and semi arid zone that has faced communal conflict for decades due to scarcity of resources.
Chatterjee said peace is expected to be fully restored in the next five years. “We have seen the highest commitment at the political level by the Heads of state of both nations,” he said.
The UN official noted that the communities along the border have agreed to get over issues of past animosities and look at development models that benefit both sides.
“If the model can work then other countries that have similar issues along borders could also find solutions,” he said.
The main goal of the peace initiative is to bring development to the border region so that residents have a stake in the evolution of the economies.
“If development takes place then people to people interaction and exchanges will also increase,” Chatterjee said. Enditem
Source: Xinhua/News Ghana