WE'RE VULNERABLE TO BANDIT ATTACKS

Don't seize guns, we'll be sitting ducks in Turkana

Improve security before confiscating our guns, without them were sitting ducks.

In Summary
  • The government should improve security in the region before any attempts are made at disarmament.
  • Nakuwa says the government should instead empower the National Police Reservists by providing guns and training.
A herder looks after cattle at Napak,in Kibish subcounty.
I NEED MY GUN: A herder looks after cattle at Napak,in Kibish subcounty.
Image: HESBORN ETYANG

Pastoralists from Turkana North and Kibish have urged the government to call off plans for forced disarmament, saying it will make them vulnerable to bandit attacks.

They said the disarmament of/retired  National Police Reservists in the region will lead to death and destruction since they are being attacked by bandits from South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The confiscation of illegal firearms is an effort to stamp out rampant cattle rustling in six counties,  including Turkana, Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Samburu and Laikipia.

 

Statistics show that civilians have more than 6,000 illegal firearms.

Peter Esekon , a herder in Kibish near the border of Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. says the government should step up security before attempting forced disarmament.

“It will be messy when the government conducts forced disarmament. More killings will be reported because we will be vulnerable and exposed to the attacks by bandits from the neighbouring countries.
Jackson Nakuwa, pastoralist 

“Fors seven months we were ravaged by drought and hunger that forced some pastoralists to migrate to neighbouring countries in search of water and pastures. It’s not in order for the government to just wake up and order for forceful disarmament without considering our security,” Esekon said.

Eseko said since they border Ethiopia and South Sudan, they are being attacked daily by suspected Merile and Toposa bandits and forced disarmanent, therefore, will make them more vulnerable and lead to loss of livestock and lives.

Jackson Nakuwa 34, a pastoralist in Turkana North, says due to frequent raids y suspected Toposa and Merile bandits they are forced to acquire illegal firearms to protect themselves from bandits who aim to steal and kill.

Nakuwa said the government should instead empower the National Police Reservists in the region by providing then guns and training because they help

“It will be messy when the government conducts forced disarmament. More killings will be reported in the region because we will be vulnerable and exposed to the attacks conducted by bandits from the neighbouring countries,” he said.

Nakuwa has urged the government to ensure security is strong before conducting forced disarmament and also hold talks with neighbouring countries for uniform disarmament.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni signed a peace deal on September 12 to end cross-border conflicts between Turkanas, Pokots and the Karamoja from Uganda.

President Museveni announced that the Karamoja community of Uganda hasbeen disarmed and Uganda is ready for peace deal along the border.

In July, Rift Regional Commissioner George Natembeya announced that a major forced disarmament of operation against armed bandits in the North Rift Region.

The date as not disclosed.

Natembeya issued a warning to residents still holding illegal firearms to voluntarily them to the government before the forced operation begins.

He spoke at Kenya School of Government in Kabarnet town, Baringo town while addressing more than 500 chiefs.

“As a government, we are saying enough is enough and it is now time we must change tack. We must immediately stop these bandits who keep loitering, killing and stealing people's livestock,” Natembeya said.

(Edited by V. Graham)