Pokot leaders say forceful disarmament recipe for chaos


Cattle rustling

Leaders from West Pokot County have asked the government to embrace dialogue to end the conflict in the volatile Kerio valley.

The leaders faulted the shoot-to-kill order issued by Deputy President William Ruto early last month saying that it will only serve to fuel the conflict and animosity between communities living in the area.

Led by West Pokot Senator, John Lunyang’apuo, former Cabinet Minister for Information and Communication, Samuel Poghisio, and Sigor Member of Parliament, Philip Rotino, the leaders called on the government to embrace dialogue instead of forceful disarmament.

Senator Lonyangpuo said that the ongoing operation has disrupted the normal economic activities of the affected communities and has failed to unite them.

“Many innocent people have lost their lives because it is hard for the police officers to identify the criminals. The communities know the culprits and if dialogue is embraced, the culprits will be known,” he said.

Lunyang’apuo urged the government to facilitate elders to hold meetings in the region to help identify those who are against peace.

The Senator said it is wrong for the whole community to be labeled as aggressors because of a few individuals.

“Pokots are peace loving people and the few criminals in the community should not make Kenyans think that the community does not love their neighbours.”

The Senator asked the government to set up social amenities in the region arguing that the region has been marginalized.

“The conflicts we are experiencing right now in the region is because the area was marginalized by past regimes. The current government should allocate more resources to the region,” said Lunyang’apuo.

Sigor MP asked leaders from the region to put their political differences aside and help find a lasting solution to the problems being experienced in the area.

“As elected leaders from this region let us put our political party differences aside and help our people in Baringo. They are our neighbours and the conflict should be stopped immediately before it spreads to neighbouring counties,” said MP Rotino.

Rotino asked leaders to seek votes peacefully without triggering other communities to conflict.

“As politicians let us sell our ideologies well without inciting each other.”

 

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Story By Collins Shitiabayi
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