Forced disarmament in Kerio Valley as three herders shot dead

About 50 murdered in the past year as voluntary surrender of firearms fails.

In Summary

•Two herders were shot dead at Murkutwo in Marakwet East and another one in Baringo county.

•Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembeya visited the region and said forced disarmament was necessary because voluntary surrender of illegal arms was not working.

A victim of the Kerio Valley banditry who was admired at the Kapsowar Mission hospital in Elgeyo Marakwet.
BANDITRY: A victim of the Kerio Valley banditry who was admired at the Kapsowar Mission hospital in Elgeyo Marakwet.

Two more people were shot dead in Kerio Valley as the government said it will forcefully disarm those illegally holding guns. 

Two herders were shot dead at Murkutwo in Marakwet East and another one in Baringo.

Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembeya visited and talked of the need for forced disarmament because voluntary surrender of arms was not working.

“We will declare the affected areas as disturbed and use necessary measures to get the illegal guns. We are no longer going to use voluntary surrender of arms," Natembeya said.”

Four people had been shot dead in Kerio Valley region as three others were injured in separate incident. The injured included two school children and a herder.

The four were killed in West Pokot while the injured were shot at in Elgeyo Marakwet county.

CS for Education George Magoha, who was in Iten town on Friday, said the government would provide security to all schools in the area ahead of national exams.

“We will ensure all our children will sit for the national exams in March as scheduled,” Magoha. said.

But parents in Kerio Valley expressed concern that more than 10 schools may shut down due to insecurity and undermine learning by all children, including exam candidates.

The latest killings sparked anger as  leaders led by Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and former Keiyo South MP Jackson Kiptanui accused the government of neglecting the region.

Murkomen who spoke in Eldoret accused the government of abandoning residents of Kerio Valley to live at the mercy of bandits.

“Jubilee promised that it would restore security in Kerio Valley but what we have seen is that people are being killed every day and life is unbearable, Murkomen said.

Former MP Kiptanui while visiting the affected areas criticised the government for failing to stamp out escalating insecurity in the Kerio Valley region. which has claimed more than 60 lives in the past five months. 

The pupils and a herder were shot and seriously injured at Samar Village in Marakwet West on Tuesday as they headed to school.

They are pupils at Barsumbat and Chepkum schools.

Kiptanui said the senseless killings were unacceptable and must be stopped.

“The National Police Reservists should be hired, trained and deployed in their numbers by the national government to help protect communities. Police officers have proved unable to pursue or repulse the bandits when they strike,” Kiptanui said.

The former MP and local leaders have been addressing peace meetings in the area. The most affected counties are Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Baringo.

“The government is being insensitive to the suffering of residents at the hands of bandits who are killing with  abandon,” Kiptanui said.

Natembeya said the government had deployed two police officers to each of the schools in affected areas to protect children and teachers.

Deputy Governor Wesley Kiptoo also wrote an open letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, asking him to intervene and stop what he termed “genocide” in the Kerio Valley.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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