NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Catholic Bishops on Saturday appealed to the government to disarm civilians in the Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot Counties where cases of violence and insecurity have escalated.
Eldoret Diocese Bishop Cornelius Korir also requested the government to immediately deploy adequate and well equipped security personnel, with transport means to cover the area of Pokot and Turkana People, which are greatly affected.
“Our dear leaders and political aspirants may the hunt for votes in this election year not make you arm or tolerate such groups who are terrorizing entire communities including even the security forces themselves having such groups in any part of our country is unacceptable, quick action must be taken to disarm,” Bishop Korir pleaded.
He said that the conflict is being fueled by shrinking pasture lands, water, cattle rustling and now the discovery of natural resources.
“The Kenya we want is that which people shall shun violence. One nation shall not rise its sword against the other nor shall they train for war again. My dear people of Kenya we will have to work for such a Kenya; where we will have no militia, no warriors, no violent youths blocking the roads. No one tribe shall release violence against the other,” he said.
Deputy President William Ruto on Friday, announced a raft of security measures to deal with the cattle rustling menace that has left dozens dead in Kerio Valley.
Among them is the recruitment of an additional 220 police reservists saying homegrown solutions remain key in the fight against cattle rustling.
This came moment after his meeting in Baringo was disrupted by Pokot raiders during his tour in Baringo county.
Ng’orora Location Chief Thomas Chebor reportedly died during the shootout between the bandits and security officials in Chekokel Village while attempting to recover livestock as the DP’s meeting was going on.
Speaking during the launch of the National Lenten Campaign, Nairobi Archbishop John Cardinal Njue, urged Catholics across the country to dedicate the 40 days of fasting to praying for Kenya’s peace and good leadership.
“Oh God, we are asking that may you influence the hearts of all Kenyans and all leaders such that, when we all uphold our humanity and integrity, Kenya will be able to love and tolerate each other especially as we head to the General Elections,” Njue remarked.
“May we look at each as citizen with unalienable rights with taking into consideration where someone’s ethnicity or political leanings.”
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) chairman Phillip Anyolo said the campaign period will be used to tell Kenyans that they should unite and not let their political differences divide them.
we have invited the political leaders to this prayer meeting because we recognise it is the responsibility of the political sphere to create a just and social order. The church however has the duty to inform the conscience of the men and women involved in building society reconciled in justice and peace
The campaign is held under the theme of ‘Peaceful and Credible Elections, Leaders of Integrity.
During the function, the church also launch a National Strategy towards promoting peaceful and credible general elections.