- It is signalized by physical and psychological acts directed at either injuring or intimidating masses.
- More often this is ethnically mobilized, stemming from grievances over resource sharing and political competition.
Detest Intercommunal violence, by All means”**********
Kenya has a broader track record of political violence, habitually committed to forcefully achieving pre-determined goals.
It is signalized by physical and psychological acts directed at either injuring or intimidating masses.
More often this is ethnically mobilized, stemming from grievances over resource sharing and political competition.
The cross-border clashes at Sondu town and its environs mirror the same.
We are witnessing ethnic profiling, gross civil violation, destruction of infrastructure and indefensible killings.
The pain and suffering of the inhabitants at the epicentre of the conflict is hurting, coming at a time when a majority of Kenyans are grappling with the high cost of living and fall in the purchasing value of money.
Health facilities, schools and markets have been shut down.
The transport system is delinked, hard-earned agricultural harvests are being torched and livestock is butchered.
Many times political violence is inflamed by vigilantes and militias deployed by politicians to garner support.
It is asymmetric warfare, targeting non-combatants and can manifest through mass protest and rebellion, organized crime, ethnic cleansing, interstate war, civil war, terrorism, political assassination, military coup, genocide and state repression.
People are targeted collectively based on the perception of being part of a social, ethnic, religious, or political group or selectively for actions perceived as challenging someone or aiding an opponent.
It is a systemic challenge.
In 1991 the self-proclaimed Kalenjin Warriors warned the Luo and other non-Kalenjin to vacate Rift Valley or face consequences.
It escalated into retaliatory and counter-retaliatory attacks, leaving approximately 1,500 dead and 300,000 displaced.
In 1997, the Digo raiders in the coastal region unleashed terror against tribes from central and western Kenya, resulting in the displacement of over 10,000 people and 104 deaths.
In 2002 the Government outlawed 18 vigilante groups purportedly sponsored by politicians.
They included Jeshi la Mzee, Mungiki and Taliban which had taken tribal realignment to breed violence, mayhem and killings. In 2007 ethnic violence broke out, chiefly in the Rift Valley.
The Kalenjin Warriors and Mungiki were heavily involved.
Over 1,200 people were killed and 650,000 displaced.
Such trends should not be tolerated. The consequences of violence are far-reaching and yield social-economic retrogression.
It destabilizes individuals, families, society, and nations and scares away potential investors.
The deployment of a special multi-agency security team in Sondu and the action of transferring security chiefs across the border is creditable.
Moreover, the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination ought to relentlessly double its efforts in restoring security in the upper rift region.
Using its regional administrative units and intelligence information, the government should establish the root cause of the cyclic violence and its perpetrators held to account by the law.
Let us strengthen the legal framework and institutions mandated to enforce law and order to tame this menace.
Kenyans want to see the arrest of high-profile engineers of violence and their lieutenants across the country.
Outwardly, peace and cohesion should not be a class dictate or preserve of a few in the society, but rather a collective responsibility.
The political set should take the lead role in uniting communities and shun incitement and misuse of youths to propagate violence.
The Inter faith-based organizations and civil societies should step up and help the government in championing peace, cohesion and arbitrations in the warring parts of the country.
Let them promote unity in diversity within the multicultural communities as well as the inculcation of moral and ethical values into society.
Dennis Wendo is the Founder- Integrated Development [email protected]