Gover­nor, MPS lead peace drive in in­se­cu­rity prone ar­eas in Baringo

Lead­ers say ban­ditry, cat­tle rustling, have ham­pered progress in the re­gion

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - COUNTY - BY FLO­RAH KOECH­tion­

Baringo County Gover­nor Stan­ley Kip­tis and lo­cal mem­bers of Par­lia­ment led a two-day peace drive in the in­se­cu­rity prone ar­eas of the county, over the week­end, preach­ing peace­ful co­ex­is­tence.

Mr Kip­tis, to­gether with MPS Wil­liam Chep­tumo (Baringo North), Charles Ka­muren (Baringo South) Wil­liam Kamket (Ti­aty) and Woman Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Glad­well Cheruiyot, tra­versed the trou­bled Katikit, Yatya, Tan­gul­bei, Che­morong'ion and El­dume, urg­ing the war­ring com­mu­ni­ties to co­ex­ist peace­fully and dis­card the ret­ro­gres­sive cul­tural prac­tices of cat­tle rustling and ban­ditry.

Also in the peace car­a­van was the county se­cu­rity team, led by Com­mis­sioner Henry Wa­fula.

Gover­nor Kip­tis said ram­pant ban­ditry and cat­tle rustling have seen the re­gion lag be­hind in de­vel­op­ment, adding that if lead­ers were gen­uine and united the com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by in­se­cu­rity, nor­malcy would re­turn.

“The in­se­cu­rity men­ace will end if all the lead­ers unite in preach­ing peace­ful co­ex­is­tence, and for that rea­son we have promised, as elected lead­ers from this re­gion, to work to­gether to en­sure that san­ity is re­stored in the trou­bled ar­eas,” said Mr Kip­tis.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing, in this era, see­ing peo­ple liv­ing in tents far from home be­cause they have been dis­placed due to at­tacks. We want to en­sure that all the dis­placed are re­set­tled and be­gin their lives afresh. We have de­cided to forge peace among all neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties so that we can com­pete in de­vel­op­ment with other re­gions,” said Mr Kip­tis while ad­dress­ing a peace meet­ing in Che­morong'ion.

The county boss em­pha­sised the need for churches and the clergy to be in­volved in tak­ing the Gospel to the volatile ar­eas.

“Ii is good peace is slowly re­turn­ing to the in­se­cu­rity prone ar­eas. We've been los­ing a lot of man­power and de­vel­op­ment due to in­se­cu­rity. We also want churches to sup­port us in tak­ing churches to re­mote ar­eas where ban­ditry is rife be­cause this will help in­stil good morals and change the peo­ple's mind­set,” he said.

He said the county gov­ern­ment will help build schools in the ban­ditry prone ar­eas so that chil­dren can go to school in­stead of en­gag­ing in cat­tle rustling.

Mean­while, Mr Chep­tumo said the time has come for all lead­ers to unite and preach peace­ful co­ex­is­tence, ir­re­spec­tive of their po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions.

“It is time for lead­ers from the war­ring com­mu­ni­ties to agree on a last­ing-so­lu­tion and avoid loss of lives and de­struc­tion of prop­erty. The lo­cal lead­ers and res­i­dents should take the re­spon­si­bil­ity of preach­ing peace and fos­ter­ing peace­ful co­ex­is­tence among the war­ring com­mu­ni­ties,” said Mr Chep­tumo.

Ms Cheruiyot noted that women and chil­dren are hard­est hit by in­se­cu­rity since they are left be­hind when men go to the bush to pro­tect the com­mu­nity against at­tacks when vi­o­lence erupts.

“Women bear the brunt of cat­tle-rustling and as a mother, I am not happy see­ing young chil­dren and women dis­placed be­cause of the age-old prac­tice of cat­tle-rustling and ban­ditry. We should end this peren­nial men­ace once and for all, but this can be achieved only if we live in peace with neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties,” said Ms Cheruiyot.

Mr Kamket pleaded with the Tu­gen and Ilchamus to give him a chance to en­sure that the Pokot, who are per­ceived as the ag­gres­sors, lay down their guns and co­ex­ist with their neigh­bours.

“It is true that a few crim­i­nals from Pokot en­gage in ban­ditry and cat­tle theft. I am plead­ing with my neigh­bours to give me a chance and this will be a thing of the past. I will work with the lead­ers in Ti­aty to en­sure that those wreak­ing havoc are brought to book,” said Mr Kamket.

“We don't ever again want to see a sce­nario where peo­ple pro­tect crim­i­nals be­cause they are from their com­mu­nity. We will deal with them and call on the se­cu­rity of­fi­cers to help us ar­rest the crim­i­nals wreak­ing havoc,” he added.

Baringo North Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Wil­liam Chep­tumo ad­dress­ing a meet­ing at Che­morong’ion in Baringo South on Sat­ur­day. A group of lead­ers from Baringo un­der­took a two-day peace drive over the week­end and ap­pealed to the Pokot, Ilchamus and Tu­gen to give up cat­tle rustling and ban­ditry and co­ex­ist peace­fully.

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