Murder of reformed bandit major blow to peace building efforts
The killing of a reformed bandit who surrendered to the authorities last month in the volatile Kerio Valley has dealt a blow to peace efforts.
David Ng’aelel’s lifeless body was found at Kerio River with deep cuts on the head and throat, suggesting that he was tortured then killed.
His death has since sparked fears among peace ambassadors and reformed bandits that they were being targeted for elimination.
In July, two peace committee members; Losokolian Chepusa and Domoruk Chepusa were among six people who were shot dead at Chesegon at the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.
Benjamin Lokorem, the peace coordinator in Koukow was also killed days later.
In the same month, an agricultural champion, Samuel Losekorow, was shot dead in broad daylight while working on his farm in the Kolowa area in Baringo county.
Losekorow, a reformed warrior, was a role model and was at the forefront urging locals to embrace agriculture as alternative source of livelihood.
Ng’aelel touched many last month when he confessed to having been involved in criminal activities in Kerio Valley which has over the years caused untold suffering to the locals.
He was reported missing on only for his body to be found two days later. Ng’aelel’s confession was perceived as a big boost to the fight against the cattle rustling menace.
He had pledged to be in the forefront in preaching peace between warring Pokot and Marakwet communities.
During the peace meeting attended by top security teams and leaders from the banditry prone region, Ng’aelel admitted to having been among those involved in bloody raids that sometimes resulted in killings and displacement of people from their homes.
He also promised to work with security agencies to end the menace.
“I am owning up to my evil ways. I am also ready to cooperate with the government in apprehending other bandits still at large,” Ng’aelel says in a video that had gone viral on social media.
Outgoing Rift Regional Coordinator George Natembeya yesterday acknowledged that Ng’alel’s death is a big blow to peace efforts in the region.
“It is sad that the incident is coming when peace efforts are beginning to pay off.
We are investigating circumstances surrounding his death,” the administrator said.