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Leaders call for talks to end banditry

For the past few months, Kerio valley has been hit hard by insecurity brought about by the banditry between the Marakwet and Pokot communities.

This has led to more than 20 deaths and several injuries and the theft of thousands of cattle.

The government through the Interior Cabinet Secreary Dr Fred Matiangi, Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai and Rift valley Regional Commissioner George Natambeya, has tried to restore the peace by visiting the region and putting some security measures in place, but leaders from the region feel that more could be done as the situation is worsening.

These sentiments from the leaders came after one more person was shot dead and another one seriously injured in an early Sunday morning attack at Kabaldamet, Kapsogom in Marakwet East Sub County.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Deputy Governor Wisley Rotich condemned the early Sunday attack which he says comes barely days after another person from Sibow village who was shot next to Tot Police Station was laid to rest.

He said that it was clear that the situation is becoming dire and would continue to pressurize the government to act on the proposals agreed upon during the last meeting.

“We will never tire of fighting for peace for the residents of the Kerio region,” said the Deputy Governor.

He added that he has engaged MCA for Koloa and Tirioko and counterparts from the Elgeyo Marakwet County assembly as well as other leaders and agreed to have grass root talks and find amicable solutions.

He added that the main aim of the grass root talks was to reach out to the youth from both sides and make them peace ambassadors thereby complimenting the current efforts by the security agencies.

Women Representative of Elgeyo Marakwet Jane Jepkorir Chebaibai said it is a fundamental responsibility as leaders and as a government to ensure that “we go out of our way to make peace a lasting thing in the Kerio region”.

“Currently measures put in place are not favoring anyone as more people continue to lose their lives,” she added.

Festus Kirop, a former MCA urges the government to do more because they have the ability to stamp out the insecurity issues in the region.

“This will only happen if the youths from both communities are engaged in the peace talks and so far, nothing of that sort has taken place” noted Kiprop.

He added that if peace is not reached amicably, the region will continue to be branded as the “valley of death”.

“These heinous attacks are executed by a few individuals which should not be a big task to be arrested and face the justice system,” said Kirop.

By Rennish Okong’o

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