North Rift leaders want military deployed in volatile Kerio Valley

Political leaders from North Rift now want President Uhuru Kenyatta to deploy the military in the volatile Kerio Valley to tame the runaway insecurity.

They also want President Kenyatta to form a task force or Cabinet subcommittee as a matter of urgency to deal with the insecurity.

In a joint statement read by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, the leaders demanded quick and firm action to end the killings and lawlessness.

“The President as the Commander-in-Chief should order immediate military action to flush out criminals along that valley,” Cherargei said.

The leaders spoke a day after bandits killed two more people and injured six others in Elgeyo Marakwet.

In eight months, bandits have killed more than 120 people in Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, West Pokot, Samburu and parts of Turkana.

The attacks took place in villages in Koitilial location in Marakwet West, where more than 100 animals were also stolen by the bandits.

They said the residents are always living in constant fear of attacks by the roaming bandits.

The bandits kill, maim and steal hundreds of livestock.

“We no longer believe this is an ordinary security issue. I think there could be some individuals behind the insecurity for their own benefits,” he said.

They said the insecurity is affecting secondary school students sitting their national examination.

The residents, they said, are more worried, especially during the election period as rogue characters may take advantage of the situation to sponsor attacks.

“Even as we talk, our children are sitting KCSE but you can imagine the attacks happening,” Cherargei said.

“Our children can no longer feel safe. You can imagine them doing exams under a cloud of insecurity and fear.”

They implored the state to be innovative in dealing with bandits, instead of relying on the same method and expect different results.

The government, he said, should engage the local communities, make nyumba kumi work and deploy national police reservists who better understand the terrain to deal with the escalating insecurity.

“The government has surveillance. They can use even drones or send the military. It’s the right time that military intervention should deployed once and for all,” he said.

 “So, we want to call out the security agencies of this country Inspector General of Police, Minister of Interior, and the President himself to personally intervene.”

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