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Security situation in volatile Kerio Valley has improved

The security situation in the volatile cattle rustling-prone Kerio Valley region has significantly improved since the government imposed the dawn to dusk curfew two weeks ago.

Government spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said the government’s decision to impose the curfew has started bearing fruits and schools that were closed due to insecurity have reopened and students are going back to school normally.

“The decision should be lauded for restoring relative peace in the region that had witnessed rampant cases of insecurity as a result of cattle rustling, students have gone back to their studies and businesses resumed,” said Oguna.

Speaking during a media briefing at Rivatex in Eldoret on Tuesday, the spokesperson said sporadic incidences by criminal elements are investigated and appropriate instant action taken against culprits.

“There is a big difference in the Kerio Valley after the dawn to dusk measures were operationalized unlike before, and we should appreciate what our security agencies are implementing on the ground to restore peace, not just for now, but even in the future,” said Oguna.

Oguna, who was flanked by Uasin Gishu County Commissioner, added that the government was on top of the security situation in the entire country saying the country was now much more secure than it was in the past.

He attributed this to the introduction of dispute resolution mechanism where local communities are encouraged to handle traditional types of insecurity issues unlike in the past when the western type of judicial system was used through the police and the courts.

“The government is moving away from the Western style of the judicial system so that we use the local community itself to address their issues, especially the cultural disputes,” said Oguna.

He added that areas that witnessed a lot of insecurity incidences such as Lamu, Tana River, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, West Pokot, Turkana and parts of Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet are now more secure and peaceful due to the new mechanism.

A week ago, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner (RC) Maalim Mohammed announced that more than 100 people had been arrested, with over 30 illegal firearms being recovered in connection with the anti-banditry operation in the Kerio Valley.

Security teams, he said, recovered guns, including combat rifles, pistols, ammunition, and camouflage gear during the operation in the villages in Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, and West Pokot counties.

The RC said those holding illegal firearms should surrender them or they will be arrested and the arms confiscated. When the operation is concluded, he added communities will be involved in restarting development projects stalled by banditry.

The curfew started on June 7th, 2022, and will go on for 30 days. The areas targeted include the entire Tot ward in Elgeyo Marakwet County with eight locations being affected, Chesongoch six locations will be affected as well as Kapyego location.

In Marakwet West Chesuman and Arror locations will be affected. In Baringo County, the entire Tiaty sub-county, and Sibilo, Yataya, and Kinyach locations in Baringo North sub-county are affected.

By Kiptanui Cherono

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