The History of the Province

The North Eastern Province, formerly known as Northern Frontier Districts, comprised three separate administrative districts: Wajir, Garissa and Mandera. Somalis inhabit almost whole of the eastern part of the region. The demarcation which ran southwards from east of Moyale to Tana River, was created by the British to separate the Somalis pastoral nomads from the rest of the country and to act as buffer zone against Somalia and Ethiopia. this line also separated them from theirs ethnic kinsmen, the Orma and the Borana.

Replica Audemars Piguet

Until the 1940s, NFD, {Northern Frontier Districts} was separated from the influence of modern economy. Despite the Pan Somali wave, which reached these parts at the end of 1940, political activities remained dormant until the 1960s when the British administration lifted the ban on political Organization. In this new situation, the Somalis could express their Willingness to join their kinsmen in the Somali Republic. Consequently, New Political parties emerged such as the Northern Province People’s Progressive Party {NPPP}, Northern Frontier Democratic Party {NFD}, and the Northern Province People’s National Union {NPPNU}. With change in the British attitude, the Somali leaders became suspicious about the British acceptance of the will of its subjects.

Following development in the same period in French Somaliland and in Western Somaliland, the Somali government passed a motion in the National Assembly in November 1961 welcoming the union of the Northern Frontier Districts to the Republic. The political momentum in the region received new impetus with the motion. In the following year, at the Kenya Conference held in Lancaster House in London, the NFD delegation firmly voiced their desire to be Granted an autonomous region that would eventually join the Somali Republic.

However their request was sharply opposed by the Kenya African National Union {KANU} and the Kenya African Democratic Union {KADU} delegations. Paradoxically, while the KANU and KADU delegation were advocating for self-determination, they were deliberately opposing the same principles in the case of the Somalis. To ease the tension, the British Colonial Secretary at the time, Reginald Maulding, announced the appointment of a commission to survey the opinion of the people concerned. Meanwhile, the Somali government of the time anxiously watched the course Of events, and warned the British not to repeat past mistakes. The Commission finding based on a survey held on Oct. 1962, were that the majority favored joining the Somali Republic. However, the British government did not honor its last undertakings given at the Kenya Conference in Lancaster House, but instead betrayed the will of its subjects by announcing in early March 1963, that the NFD was to be brought into Kenya’s regional constitution.

The British decision led to general discontent throughout the NFD. Consequently, on 11 March 1963, the Somali Republic broke off diplomatic ties with British. The British decision reflected favoritism toward Ethiopian imperialism policy and a desire not to endanger its relationship with the new commonwealth country of Kenya. Had Somalia entered the Commonwealth states after independence, perhaps the matter would not have ended in such way. Britain concentrated more on its future relations than honoring its commitments and responsibilities over its subjects. On 12 December 1963, Kenya received its independence. And in December 1965, the late President Nyerere of Tanzania tried to reopen a dialogue between Kenya and Somalia in Arusha, but the rift between the two nations impeded all means of Resolving the issue and instead led to their diplomatic rapture on 21 June 1966.

A period of Shifta wars followed in NFD. These were skirmishes with the Kenya army for about three years. The insurrection then was in its infancy. It did not developed into a fully blown war with the Kenya government. It subsided when leaders decided to solve the matter through dialogue, but the suspicion these wars caused was never to die until today. To tighten its internal security, the Kenya government took drastic security measures and ordered that whoever was to be found sympathetic to the Shifta, the name given to Liberation Front activists, should be imprisoned for life and his property confiscated. For the Somalis, however, it represented the legitimization of one African State colonizing another. The Somalis in this province number about one million. They occupy the second largest province in Kenya. The province was ruled under martial laws from independence in 1963 to 1993. The exceptional measures continued long after the threat of insurrection had faded, and were accompanied by gross human rights abuses. The most notable is the Wajir massacre of 1984, in which more than 2000 ethnic Somalis were murdered by the security forces. The Kenya army and the police has been guilty of gross human rights violations. It is the most under-developed province in the country with no proper schools, health care facilities and non-existence infrastructure.

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