, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 27 – The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has asked the government to deploy the Kenya Defense Forces to the dispute regions of Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu counties to put a stop to the ongoing conflict among the resident communities.
KCCB Chairman Arch Bishop Zacchaeus Okoth alleged on Wednesday that some area leaders were responsible for the current animosity in the area by inciting their supporters to turn against each other.
“We request the government to deploy adequate and well equipped defense forces with transport means to cover the area,” Okoth called.
“Further, we want the same defense forces to disarm all the civilians in the area and have all leaders who are involved in inciting the communities to bear the personal responsibility,” he recommended.
Speaking to the press on Wednesday, the clergy said that the illegal arms were being used to raid, kill and maim innocent citizens, men women and children.
The Archbishop further demanded that the government should help both the Turkana and Pokot to find an amicable solution over the contested boundaries.
“The conflict is fuelled by the shrinking pasture lands, water, cattle rustling and now the discovery of oil and lime. The communities also have strife over the ownership of Turkwell Generating station,” he said.
He added that the Catholic bishops were willing to create a platform for dialogue to end the fray between the Turkana and the Pokot communities.
According to the Red Cross, trouble began on November 18 after the death of two Pokot, blamed on the Turkana tribe sparking retaliatory raids by the Pokot who surrounded the village.
Police launched operations on Sunday against armed militiamen who laid siege to the Lorokon village.
A day earlier, militiamen surrounding the village of Lorokon, home to the clashing rival Pokot and Turkana communities, seized three police stations and put up “heavy resistance” against police sent to the area, authorities said.