Killing of GSU boss big blow to peace efforts in Kapedo

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 00:00 |
A police officer at a public meeting led by Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya in Kapedo, on the Turkana and Baringo border, on November 15, 2020. Photo/Courtesy

Wycliff Kipsang @wsang08

The killing of a senior General Service Unit (GSU) officer at the volatile Kapedo at the border of Turkana and Baringo counties has dealt a blow to peace efforts in the banditry prone North Rift region. 

Local leaders traversed the area last year, which saw relative calm restored in the clash-prone region, however, the recent attack has derailed reconciliation bid. 

During the raid three days ago, armed bandits laid an ambush on a vehicle  the deceased, Emadau Temakol, was traveling near Ameyan bridge when armed bandits ambushed them killing him instantly. 

Temakol was heading to Nairobi after leading a police operation to flush out bandits in the region. 

Attack came barely three days after another one in which a middle-aged man was killed and three others injured. 

Tension remains high with residents fleeing the area and the attackers said to be setting ablaze homesteads as local leaders demand for  heightened security. 

A raft of factors have been attributed to the runaway insecurity with boundary dispute between the Pokot and Turkana communities being a major one. 

Each of the communities from Turkana and Baringo counties has been claiming that the resource rich area falls within their jurisdiction.

Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis and his Turkana counterpart Josephat Nanok yesterday  said warring communities should stop fighting over boundary issues because it is the mandate of the national government and not locals.

Troubled counties

“It makes no sense to fight over boundary issues because it is not your mandate. Every Kenyan has a right to live anywhere in his country.

The culture of stealing livestock should also cease because we have seen no one getting rich out of such acts,” said Nanok.

Governor Kiptis on the other hand emphasised the need of enroling children in  school to mitigate their chances of joining banditry. 

Kiptis at the same time appealed to leaders in the troubled counties to continue building sincerity in peace and reconciliation  efforts, because inciteful utterances may spark fresh animosities among the warring communities.

“Blame game will not take us anywhere. We should be part of the solution and commit to bring our people together. We urge leaders to desist from reckless remarks which can incite warring communities,” said Kiptis.

He promised that the devolved unit will scale up development in the troubled areas such as building schools, health facilities and boreholes to spur development and reduce the scramble and fights over limited resources.

Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya has ordered herders still in possession of illegal firearms to voluntarily surrender them, which he blamed for the runaway insecurity in the region.

 “You should be asking yourselves if the perennial fights and livestock theft has yielded any fruits of development in the affected areas. If not, then we should give peace a chance,” said Natembeya.

The perennial raids have adversely affected education in the area with many schools closed since 2005, which has contributed to dismal performance in national examinations.

Located at the border of Baringo and Turkana counties, Kapedo is synonymous with bloody conflicts that have over the years left a trail of death.

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