Tension remains high along West Pokot, Marakwet border

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo (centre) at the scene of the incident
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo (centre) at the scene of the incident

Tension remained high along the West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet border counties as residents faulted the government for failing to curb insecurity in the volatile area.

This comes after five people were killed on Friday by more than one hundred raiders who made away with more than 300 livestock and killed seven cows at Chesegon area in Pokot Central Sub County.

Learning has been affected in Cheptulel, Chesogon schools following the banditry attack. Speaking at the scene of the incident, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo called on the government to disarm people with illegal firearms along the border of the two Counties.

Lonyangapuo who was accompanied by Sigor Member of Parliament Peter Lochakapong and Kapenguria member of parliament Samuel Moroto called on the government to establish an anti-stock theft along the border of the two Counties. He called on Marakwet leaders to help stop any retaliatory attacks.

Mr. Lochakapong faulted the government failing to beef up security in the area. “We shall protect ourselves if the government has failed,” said Lochakapong.

Moroto issued a one-week ultimatum to security organs to return the stolen livestock. “The government should ensure that we return the stolen animals,” he said.

The leaders faulted people inciting locals calling on the government to investigate the inciters.

Residents decried the resurfaced banditry and cattle rustling activities in the area accusing security officers working in the area of laxity.

They said they’re living in fear and called on the government to beef up security by deploying more security officers in the area. “We want to know who killed our people,” said Kiramet Cheplinget, one of the residents.

They said that businesses have been closed in the area following the sporadic attacks. “The government has failed to beef up security,” said Cheplinget.

Pokot central Deputy County Commissioner Geoffery Kithinji said the government has put mechanisms in place to address insecurity issues in the area. He called on peace committees, elders, and political leadership to help unite the two communities.