NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – Politicians inciting the public in Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet where tens of lives have been lost have been put on the spot by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who says they will not be spared.
Violence continues to paralyse activities in the two counties, with retaliatory attacks claiming lives of women and children, usually after a case of cattle rustling.
“I reiterate that my administration cannot and will not condone the blatant violation of the rights guaranteed in our constitution,” he warned.
“This administration will use all means at its disposal to pursue and bring to justice all those involved in causing this mayhem. I warn politicians in the affected areas to stop incitement to any form of violence. You will be held to account.”
The President spoke on Wednesday at the National Assembly when he was making his fourth State of the Nation Address to the country.
The latest attack left seven women and four children dead in Baringo County, despite the enhance security presence in the area.
“On the home-front, the incessant inter-communal conflicts and other criminal acts, including cattle rustling and poaching, are sustained by an inflow of illegal small arms and light weapons as well as marauding bandits operating across the border,” he said.
“Furthermore, threats such as terrorism feed off transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking, as well as piracy. These risks have largely been brought under control over the last four years through a series of actions.”
The violence is said to have been triggered by the theft of livestock belonging to the Pokot by the IIchamus.
Despite the government deploying massive security personnel in the troubled area, insecurity has persisted, claiming tens of lives.
Tension still remains high in the area even as the security agencies move to restore law and order.
Area MCA Renson Parkei has blamed the government for not responding earlier after giving them report that the area residents had been threatened.
The MCA added that the unknown number of the area residents have gone missing following the incident.
He has urged the residents to be calm and not to launch any retaliatory attacks but instead help the police in the investigations for criminals to be arrested.
The President noted that under the Jubilee Government, the ratio of police to civilians has improved to 1 officer to 380 members of the public against the United Nations recommended ratio of 1:450.
He further said that the country’s counter-terrorism efforts had delivered a sharp reduction in the number of fatalities, attacks and attempts by terrorist entities.
Added to the strong efforts to dismantle terrorists’ operational capabilities, the President said the government has increased its focus on preventing and reducing the motivations underlying radicalisation and recruitment into terrorism.
“Our National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism is bearing fruit,” he asserted.
“This strategy is addressing radicalisation by combining the efforts of diverse actors including the state, civil society, the private sector, and religious organisations to protect our democracy. This achievement takes on even greater significance as the world learns that we are one of the few, if not the only, country that has expanded its civil liberties while on the frontlines of fighting terrorism.”