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Mandera residents mark first ever Somali cultural festival

Mandera governor Ali Roba clad in full somali attire during the Somali cultural festival that was held at Moi stadium

Residents of Mandera yesterday celebrated the first ever Somali cultural festival.

The event was meant to bring together all Somali speaking communities to celebrate their heritage.

The county has in the past been faced with inter-clan clashes in which several people have died and hundreds displaced.

However, yesterday was different as all the clans freely celebrated their diverse cultures.

Governor Ali Roba called for unity among the different communities.

The county is home to the Garre, Degodia, Marehan, Murulle and the Conner tribes.

Deputy President William Ruto is expected to close the event on Tuesday.

He said his government has strived to include all communities in all employment opportunities available.

“In the past our communities have fought each other on tribal lines but never ever should this recur again,” Roba said.

The county will allocate resources for development of all clans cultural activities adding that they would seek to gazette the event for future generations to learn.

“We are lagging behind after decades of neglect from successive regimes. The only favour we can do to ourselves is to unite and work to overcome these challenges,” the governor said.

Area Senator Mohamed Mohamud said, “We should never be divided along clan lines as this only served to deter development.” The festival will be used to show case the different home products used in traditional Somali societies.

Foods, kitchen accessories, fashion and many other items will be displayed.