Pokot leaders defend the community after insecurity claims

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has said the County government fully supports the irrigation project
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has said the County government fully supports the irrigation project

Pokot leaders have come out strongly to defend their community, after claims emerged that members of the Pokot community are foes of the neighbouring communities, thus heightening insecurity in the region.

The leaders said Pokots are peace loving, and they are simply perceived negatively by other communities.

They maintained that Pokots should not be taken as criminals who are causing mayhem in the region.

They called on the government to unite the warring communities in the North Rift. This comes after two people were killed in Lami Nyeusi by bandits from the neighbouring Turkana county.

Led by West Pokot Senator Prof John Lonyangapuo, former Cabinet Minister Samuel Poghisio and Sigor Member of Parliament Phillip Rotino, the leaders called for dialogue over the insecurity in the region.

They cited that criminals should be treated as individuals and not the whole community shouldn’t be dragged into the situation.

The leaders cited that the Pokots in Tiaty, East Pokot, and Baringo County have been marginalized for a long time and that’s why the area is experiencing insecurity incidents.

“There is no development in the area. All this is because of marginalisation that we’ve been through as a community. Even if they bring the army, they will not resolve the conflict but all we need is dialogue,” said Lonyangapuo.

The leaders said that they are concerned over the recent spate of killings witnessed in the region. Speaking at Lomut market, the leaders who were on a peace sensitization mission in the area, condemned the insecurity incidents witnessed among the neighbouring communities.

They said that Pokots are not aggressors, adding that accusing the community as attackers is wrong. “Our neighbours have been attacking us but we don’t revenge,” said Sigor MP Phillip Rotino.

Speaking separately at Pserum Governor Simon Kachapin called on the government to undertake a massive investigation to nab criminals. He said the Intelligence system in the region had failed to address the issue.

He called on political leaders to support the government when it comes to addressing insecurity along the Kerio belt.