West Pokot County Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang has called on the government to arrest culprits funding banditry activities and fueling animosity among residents living along the West Pokot–Elgeyo Marakwet border. He called on fellow leaders from the neighbouring community to name the culprits for the government to take action.
Residents who migrated to safer places have been infected by diseases and farmers have incurred losses after retaliatory attacks last week.
Nine people have been killed in a span of one month, more than 250 houses torched, property destroyed and schools deserted along the border of the two communities in the renewed attacks.
Farming and other economic activities in the region have been affected after residents were displaced because of the runaway insecurity.
The West Pokot Deputy Governor visited Kamelei and Kapushen areas in Pokot South Sub County called on residents to be patient and not revenge against any attack as they wait for the government response.
Atudonyang asked the government to establish the root cause of the attacks in the area. “We have never witnessed a loss like this before. Residents have engaged in cattle rustling activities before but not burning houses. This is not about cattle rustling but it’s a land issue,” he said.
He asked leaders from Marakwet to come out and affirm that they don’t support banditry and cattle rustling activities.
The Deputy Governor reiterated that leaders from West Pokot County are willing for dialogue to end the wrangle for the area to catch up with the rest of the country. “We are willing to sit down and dialogue with leaders from the neighbouring County. If the government will not protect them it will reach a point where they’ll take the law in their hands,” said Atudonyang.
He called on humanitarian organizations to help residents access food, water, drugs and shelter because children are suffering from pneumonia. “We hope the government will put up measures to stop this,” he said, “We must think of the impact of these attacks because children are suffering from Pneumonia as most families sleep outside,” he said.
Atudonyang asked the national security team to flush out criminals hiding in forests and make sure they are brought to book and help restore peace along the border of the two Counties.
Residents who are staying seven kilometres away from their homes called on the government and other well-wishers to help them push the resettlement agenda to the government.