NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 13- Hundreds of commuters are still stranded in Kainuk between Lodwar and Kitale after residents blocked the main road since Friday to protest government failure to tackle insecurity.
This follows a spate of attacks including Friday night’s killing of three people by cattle rustlers, sparking outrage.
The Kenya Red Cross has been distributing refreshments to the over 600 stranded passengers, who include women and children, as the police continued to plead with residents to clear the road.
The Kenya Red Cross personnel was also offering psychological support to the distressed passengers who were offered milk, bread and water.
Resident’s claim that the attacks were committed by suspected raiders from Pokot who stormed a camp in the area and killed the three people, leaving three others wounded, including a security officer.
The residents have vowed to continue with the protests until they get assurance from President Uhuru Kenyatta on their security.
By Sunday evening, the Kenya Red Crossed announced that it had evacuated a passenger who fell critically ill to Kitale for treatment, as others continued to wait any government support.
The area where the road was barricaded is about 120 kilometers from Kitale, and 165 kilometers from Lodwar.
“The Red Cross team is on the ground offering humanitarian support for the last 72 hours after the protests in Kainuk,” the Kenya Red Cross tweeted.
Kenya Red Cross estimates that over 600 people are held up in the traffic jam stretching more than ten kilometers since Friday night.
There was no immediate statement from the police, even as Turkana County Commissioner Julius Mathenge assured that the government was “doing everything possible to clear the road”.
The siege drew mixed reactions from Kenyans on twitter some of who accused the government of neglecting its people.
Some warned that the area where the road was barricaded is “too dangerous for anyone to stay for three days and night.”
A hash tag #KainukSiege was quickly created where Kenyans on twitter expressed their anger, while calling for quick action from the government.
“It’s all hashtags until someone in government asks “What were they doing in Kainuk?” or “Journalists are creating stories again,” Mac Otani tweeted on his @MacOtani timeline.
But for Arch. Martin Tairo @mmtairo, the continued delay by the government to act is blamed on lack of proper laws, thus “I think the reason why the government is unable to deal with #KainukSiege is because the security bill is not yet passed.”
Joylene Lochita @SingoeiJoylene said “Government must rescue stranded travelers at Kainuk, that region is prone to bandit attacks, getting stuck there is like a death trap #KainukSiege.