Peace Ambassador Tegla Loroupe has called on the government to incorporate and involve peace stakeholders and communities in the decision to disarm National Police reservists (NPRs) in the North Rift region.
Speaking during a peace caravan while distributing relief food to residents affected by insecurity in Amarel, Akulo, Lokwamuising villages along the West Pokot and Turkana border, Tegla said the approach to the guns withdrawal and its enforcement has not been taken well by warring communities since there is no alternative.
The government took away guns held by NPRs in the region to allow for fresh vetting and registration after claims that some of the reservists had turned to cattle rustling using the government-provided firearms.
She said that withdrawal of guns from the reservists has exposed the area to attacks and created fear among communities in the region.
The former athlete says that the move is good but the government should have involved major stakeholders especially those who have fought for years for the peace stability among warring communities in the country.
She said police reservists have been instrumental in peace promotion and have experience in the region because they understand the terrain of the area. “The provision of guns to the NPR has been able to improve security in our area. They understand the terrain, the County and in the event of an attack they assist security personnel in pursuing the attackers,” Tegla said.
However, she said that there is need for a fresh vetting of those who had been given firearms calling on the government to deploy security officers in the to contain the insecurity situation.
She expressed concern over the poor condition of Amaler Police Post which has been deserted for close to five years yet it served the border point of West Pokot and Turkana.
Residents in the area want the government to return arms taken from the National Police Reservists in the area to contain insecurity.
Paulo Korwa, a resident of Akulo, said the government should deploy security personnel to the Amoler police post now that all guns has been taken from the NPRs. Korwa said the region used to depend on the NPRs.
One resident from West Pokot, Kendagor Obadiah, said the issue of NPRs being disarmed without any alternative to protect the locals raises questions.
Alice Tuliangura says as women from the border point, their lives are endangered by the disarming of NPRs and their only remedy could have been Amaler police post which is now deserted.