Rights group wants more done to quell North Rift volatility

March 12, 2017 2:00 pm
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The Deputy President when he announced the deployment of reservists in Baringo/DPPS

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The Kenya Human Rights Commission says the government needs to do more to address the volatility of the North Rift region where bandits and cattle rustlers have continued to conduct raids on neighboring communities.

The Commission says the latest wave of violence that left two politicians dead is part of a long history of violence instigated by politicians who have on numerous occasions incited the different communities against each other.

The commission now wants an overhaul of the security personnel in the region, days after Deputy President William Ruto announced enhanced security measures.

Program Manager Andrew Songa says County Commissioners, Deputy County Commissioners and police commandants in the region should be transferred for failing to comprehensively address the situation.

“There are county administrators who have been in the region for an extended time and yet nothing has changed to the patterns of the violence and cattle rustling , so there needs to be a change of tactic and that has also to do with the personnel, it’s time to get a fresh set of eyes within the region,” he explained.

He also says government must bring to book the cartel who has continued to cause mayhem within the communities.

The government has already deployed 381 security personnel and recruited about 230 National Police Reservist and also plans to employ the use of surveillance and air support to track down the bandits.

“The government is dealing with the symptoms instead of the disease, deployment of security officers for example is the first step, but what we need are more comprehensive investigations to find out for example who are the people driving these conflicts because they are quite organised which indicates that there are people behind this,” Songa however insisted.

The new spate of attacks has sparked tension among the warring Pokot and Tugen communities with some residents fleeing their homes for fear of revenge attacks.

The violence in Baringo South and Baringo North is believed to have been sparked by the killing of two Pokot leaders: Loyamorok MCA Fredrick Cheretei and Tiaty parliamentary aspirant Simon Pepee Kitambaa by hooded gunmen in Marigat in February.

“We are also calling for the resignation of Tiaty MP Asman Kamama being Chairperson of the National Assembly’s Administration and National Security Committee as his name keeps reappearing in claims that he has been linked to the incidents in the North Rift. Kamama being part of the committee could hamper investigations,” Songa added.

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