Residents of Mandera have yesterday started celebrating the first ever Somali cultural festival in the region as the event today marks on its second day.
Mandera governor Ali Roba clad in full Somali attire during the Somali cultural festival that was held at Moi stadium in Mandera town the headquater of Mandera county in North Eastern Kenya.
The event was meant to bring together all Somali speaking communities from Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia to celebrate their heritage as Mandera town lies in a triangle border for the three countries
Mandera County has in the past been faced with inter-clan clashes in which several people have died and hundreds displaced from their homes.
However, yesterday was different as all the clans freely celebrated their diverse cultures.
Ali Roba the governor of Mandera County has called for unity among the different communities.
He said his government has endeavoured 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 the development of all clan 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 showcase the different home products used in traditional Somali societies.
Foods, kitchen accessories, fashion and many other Somali cultural items were displayed.
The Deputy President of Kenya William Ruto is expected to arrive in Mandera tomorrow to close the event.