Red Cross asks govt to solve Turkana disputes

November 25, 2013 11:22 am
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The Kenya Red Cross is stewarded by Abbas Gullet, the Secretary General. Photo/FILE
The Kenya Red Cross is stewarded by Abbas Gullet, the Secretary General. Photo/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – The Kenya Red Cross Society is now calling on the government to find a permanent solution to the situation in Turkana where armed militiamen have held hostage three police camps, amid a territorial dispute between two local communities.

According to the Society’s Director of External Relations and Resource mobilisation Wariko Waita, the current crisis in the area is not new.

In a press statement, she pointed out that the conflict includes land, pasture, water, cattle rustling and politics and until these issues are addressed it will not go away adding that if the current stalemate is resolved, they are almost certain to re-occur.

“The current crisis in Lorokon started on 18th November 2013 whereby two Pokot men were allegedly killed by people from Turkana. It is also alleged that the Pokot regrouped and came with over 150 armed men and laid siege to the village. There are unconfirmed reports that the seven police officers guarding this village were outnumbered and escaped the siege.

“We also understand that an estimated 600 to 900 residents of the villages were surrounded by Pokot armed men who were said to be numbering over 150,” she stated.

She stressed the need for both the central and county governments to tackle the problem of resource based conflicts in the arid and semi arid parts of Kenya; otherwise there will be a loss of lives of innocent women and children.

“The current crisis in Turkana South is not new. This is a resource based conflict which includes land, pasture, water, cattle rustling and politics and until these issues are addressed by the leaders of these two communities, the central government and the county governments of Turkana and Pokot, this issue will not go away.”

The KRCS further assured Kenyans that it has two teams from Eldoret and Turkana on the ground conducting negotiations with the leadership of these two communities, including politicians and county administration to allow them have access to the affected population.

Waita stated that the Society did not see a need for an appeal to go out to Kenyans since it has enough resources to address the humanitarian needs of the affected population.

Lorokon village in Turkana County was over the weekend under siege where armed militiamen held hostage three police camps, amid a territorial dispute between two local communities.

The problem started last week when Turkana South OCPD Richard Kipsang was leading a team of officers into Lorokon area when they met and engaged with a group of about 200 heavily armed Pokot youths.

However more police officers have been sent to fight armed Pokot militiamen according to Interior Ministry.

A curfew has also been established in southern Turkana and north Pokot County areas of Kainuk and Nakwamoru.

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