Disturbed Mt Elgon needs special police unit, not curfew - HRW official

Ministers Farida Karoney (Lands), Fred Matiang'i (Interior), Eugene wamalwa (Devolution) and Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi during a security meeting in Mt Elgon constituency, Bungoma county, March 6, 2018. /JOHN NALIANYA
Ministers Farida Karoney (Lands), Fred Matiang'i (Interior), Eugene wamalwa (Devolution) and Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi during a security meeting in Mt Elgon constituency, Bungoma county, March 6, 2018. /JOHN NALIANYA

A Human Rights Watch official does not think a curfew is the way to go in Mt Elgon, which was declared disturbed after many fatal attacks.

Interior CS Fred Matiangi announced a 90-day 6pm to 6am curfew on Tuesday following public outcry about killings and severe injuries.

Details:

But HRW's Western Kenya

Executive Director Job

Bwonya said

the Cabinet Secretary was misled by his men on the ground.

“Unlike the SLDF militia, the

group that has been

terrorising people

is not

widespread. Police say they are only 17 in number and have already released their

identities. The best approach is to deal with them directly

without affecting other peoples

lives,” he

said.

"We don't want a curfew. A special

police unit should just be

assigned to track down the

group."

Bwonya further

said the

curfew will only cause residents to be more afraid and flee.

Police say one

Timothy Kitai alias Cheparkach and his brother

Ngeywa are

the masterminds of the attacks.

But on February 23, a

killed gangster was identified

as Isaac Mukwawa, who was said to have been a former commander of the Sabaot Land Defence Force.

He was shot dead in a heavy exchange of fire with

APs

from Kamagul camp

at Kamuneru Forest. The RDU and General Service Unit are also taking part in the operation that has seen them fire shots at

Kamuneru, Sambojo, Masaek and Land B areas.

Read:

More on this:

Area MP Fred Kapondi, however, differed with Bwonya saying the curfew was "very much in order" and will help restore peace in the volatile region.

“I think the curfew is a step in the right direction, Nobody should claim it will affect

business," he said. "This gang

had already

scared residents from their homes."

Also read:

Kapondi

said the gang has been operating at

night so with the curfew, it will be easier for security agents to track the criminals down.

Some residents of the Bungoma constituency

believe the curfew will help security agencies deal firmly with the criminals while others say it was uncalled for.

Resident Kipkorir Kigai said the success of the regulation will only be felt if police are deployed to every location.

“We were not staying in our houses because of fear of being attacked. With the curfew we have no option but to sleep in the houses. We expect protection with heavy police presence."