Flourian Gobler, Deputy ambassador of Switzerland in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Peter Kipkoech Kenda
Switzerland’s embassy in Kenya is now supporting peace initiatives between the African country and its neighbours, among them Somalia and Ethiopia.
Switzerland’s deputy ambassador in Nairobi, Florian Gubler, is emphasising the need for peace to foster development in the countries. He expressed the need to prioritise support the non-governmental organizations steering key activities to promote peace in Kenya ahead of August 8 General poll.
“In Kenya and beyond, we have a regional development cooperation programme for northern Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. We have large programmes with which to try and assist Kenya and its neighbours in their development, which is also a prerequisite for peace,” the deputy ambassador said.
On embassy level, Gubler added that there is a programme with small grants to support the local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that deal with the promotion of peace and conflict resolution.
In this particular programme’s budget for this year, Gubler says that the embassy has dedicated the whole share to Kenyan local NGOs working on programmes towards peaceful, credible, free and fair elections.
The deputy ambassador raised the sentiments when he paid a courtesy call to Elgeyo Marakwet County’s commissioner, Fredrick Ndambuki, ahead of a security meeting organized by the Elgeyo Marakwet County Human Rights Network NGO in the AIC Cheptebo conference.
The meeting gathered all chiefs from the volatile Kerio Valley where there has been regular communal attacks between the Pokot and Marakwet communities.
The two pastoral communities have, since time immemorial, been affected by the cattle-rustling menace and competition for water and pasture.