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Tiaty council of elders urge gov’t to lift operation

Council of elders’ of Tiaty want the security operation currently underway in the area stopped as they want dialogue in a roadmap to achieve peace saying that residents were suffering due to the ongoing security operation aimed at flashing out gunmen.

The elders presented a memorandum of understanding of a roadmap to restoring peace and urged the County Commissioner to address the issues.

The elders led by Christopher Chochoi visited the County Commissioner Abdirisak Jaldesa on Wednesday at his office in Kabarnet and condemned the bandits and promised to help flush them out as they were disturbing peace in the area.

Chochoi said roadblocks erected in the area were affecting food supplies to Tiaty East and West thereby affecting residents including teachers, doctors and students adding that schools risked being closed due to these restrictions.

“We would like the security agents to visit the ground and give dialogue a chance and also open up an administrative unit at Tiaty Central in order to restore peace,” Chochoi said.

Another elder, Bishop Yusuf Lusute of the African Inland Church (AIC) said lack of education was a major factor leading to young boys taking up the vice to make a living and urged the government to take them to school by force in order to change their mindset.

“The illiteracy rate in the area is 95 percent and compulsory schooling for all children will help fight the vice in the next 15 to 20 years together with deploying police officers in the area to reinforce peace,” Lusute said.

In his response, Jaldesa said the government was not out to make residents suffer but to restore peace that was being disturbed by the bandits adding that during a recent operation in the month July and August they collected 32 illegal guns and challenged all leaders including elected ones to condemn them.

“The government wants to restore peace and we are working together with stakeholders such as National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and we will achieve this through the operation as we already have a list of the bandits and we will arrest them soon,” Jaldesa said

Jaldesa noted with concern that instead of the government dealing with drought and hunger crisis which was an emergency they were dealing with bandits disturbing peace in the area.

Climate change, he said, was a reality and had hit all pastoralist communities and the offtake program would be undertaken and boreholes built to cushion residents.

“Due to the drought, cash transfers from Red Cross, FAO will be given to affected residents and also relief food issued to residents affected by the drought situation,” he added.

The CC promised to open up the roads after consultations in order to foster development and urged the leaders to enroll their children to National Youth Service (NYS) to undertake artisan courses to help them earn a living.

By Caroline Cherono

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