Kerio Valley needs disarmament now

In Summary

• Government wants to restore peace and security around Kerio Valley

• Nomads in the regions have around 50,000 guns and have rustled over 100,000 livestock in the last 10 years

Security officials display weapons recovered in the ongoing operation in Marsabit.
DISARMAMENT: Security officials display weapons recovered in the ongoing operation in Marsabit.
Image: FILE

There has been persistent violence around Kerio Valley in counties including Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo, Turkana and Samburu.

Now the Ruto government wants to restore peace. Nomadic communities there have 50,000 guns, have killed more than 1,500 people in the last decade and stolen at least 100,000 heads of livestock.

This and previous governments agree that this is not just traditional raiding. Big shots and organised criminals are involved.

These are indeed neglected areas that need more support from government including for health, education, and water retention. It is estimated that over half of young men in Pokot do not finish primary school.

Devolution has already allocated more resources to large counties with dispersed populations to improve services. Service delivery now needs to be monitored.

But at the end of the day, only disarmament will solve the problem of insecurity. In the 1990s, President Museveni successfully disarmed the Karimjong and peace returned to Karimoja for 20 years.

The initial phase should be the carrot—government will buy back guns at a good price. The second phase will be the big stick after a deadline of, say, one year—guns will be confiscated without payment, if necessary by force.

Quote of the day: "I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made."

Franklin D Roosevelt
He was
elected US President for the second time on November 3, 1936

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