Elgeyo leaders condemn Kerio Valley killings
‘Dear Mr President, our peaceful Kerio Valley is turning into a valley of death. Please listen to the painful voices of residents of the Kerio Valley,’ says speaker Kochei
Elgeyo Marakwet leaders have condemned Thursday’s killing of one person and the theft of at least 100 cattle in Marakwet.
Led by county assembly speaker Albert Kochei, they said the recent killing has reversed gains in restoring peace in the Kerio Valley after two weeks of calm.
The attack came six days after Public Service CS Sicily Kariuki launched construction of roads on the border of Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo counties to curb banditry attacks.
Kochei urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to offer a lasting solution to insecurity after several attempts to end hostilities between the Pokot and the Marakwet communities in the Kerio Valley failed. “Dear Mr President, our peaceful Kerio Valley is turning to be a valley of death. Please listen to the painful voices of residents of the Kerio Valley,” he said on Friday in Iten.
Kochei said the grassroots leaders have done everything in their power to end the skirmishes, but bandits continue to wreak havoc. “As a county leadership, we have done all that is expected of us, though knowing quite well that security is a national function,” he said.
Police officers said the middle-aged man was shot dead by bandits sus- pected to be from Tiaty, Baringo East.
The recent killing brings the death toll in the Kerio Valley attacks to 18 since March this year. Area leaders led by Endo MCA Festus Kirop have urged traders to go to the area and buy farm produce that is rotting on the farms.
Kirop said fruits, including mangoes, bananas, oranges and tomatoes, are rotting as traders fear to go to the area due to banditry attacks.
West Pokot Senator John Lonyangapuo on Sunday said lack of education in Baringo East is to blame for the rising cases of banditry attacks as a majority of Pokot youth in Baringo East are idle.
Bandit and cattle-rustling attacks in the Kerio Valley have killed at least 18 people since March (See Pg30). The latest bloodletting happened on Thursday in Marakwet, leaving one dead and 100 head of cattle stolen.
Our correspondent reports fruit, including mangoes, bananas, oranges and tomatoes, rotting on the farms for lack of traders, as buyers fear entering the area amid bandit and rustling attacks.
There is a deeply entrenched problem in Kerio Valley, an area that residents have taken to describing as the ‘Valley of Death’, including assembly speaker Albert Kochei.
The Senator from West Pokot, John Lonyangapuo, says a majority of the youth of Pokot in Baringo East is idle for lack of schools in the area and join the bandits and rustlers.
A lasting solution to the joblessness and insecurity challenges of the Kerio Valley needs to be found as a matter of priority. This includes effective disarmament and smart interventions that target the youth and give them hope.
Youths armed with poisoned arrows patrol the porous border of Baringo North and Tiaty subcounties on November 8