State warns leaders of incitement after tension engulfs restive Kapedo

Friday, January 15th, 2021 00:00 |
Security officers patrol the bandit-ridden Kapedo area which has in the past few weeks been scene if tribal clashes. Photo/PD/FILE

The government has issued a stern warning to leaders reportedly inciting their communities in the wake of banditry attacks in Kapedo area at the border of Baringo and Turkana counties that has so far claimed the life of a 75-year-old man. 

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said authorities are on high alert to ensure normalcy returns in the area saying communities needed minimise cases of conflicts. 

Natembeya noted that the attack was occasioned by livestock theft which led to a standoff between communities residing in the area forcing the police to intervene confirming that police are in full control of the area. 

According to Natembeya on Wednesday, three locals were left nursing gunshot wounds during the burial of the 75-year-old man saying bandits ambushed locals and started shooting aimlessly insisting that there is a need for community leaders to weigh in and assist in restoring calm. 

“We have our officers on the ground and we are working to ensure normalcy returns, however we will not allow leaders to incite locals, the area has been calm for a long time and we want peace to prevail,” said Natembeya. 

He pointed out boundaries and resources as the main cause of conflict in the restive area confirming that so far five schools have been temporarily closed with all students evacuated and safe after the incident. 

His remarks come barely hours after Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok accused the police of collaborating with ragtag militias. 

Nanok addressing a press conference at the county headquarters in Lodwar, castigated the Regional Commissioner for alleged dishonesty in handling the perennial skirmishes along the borders. 

Police doing nothing

“There has been no response from the National Security agencies since Sunday when armed bandits laid siege on Kapedo.

This is a failure on Government in its mandate to protect lives of Kenyans and their property, and will only emboldened the impunity of bandit,” Nanok said 

The governor noted that the police stationed in the area did nothing saying his administration is mobilising resources for emergency to support residents of Kapedo and Lomelo who were affected by the conflict and called on partners to support in the response. 

However, the RC questioned the motives of the leader’s remarks saying the police will not be forced to choose sides when it comes to protecting the rule of law stating adding that some political careers are threatened when there is peace.

“How can you just say police are doing nothing, if we could not have intervened, we could have been talking about loss of more lives, a massacre,” said Natembeya. 

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