NGOs council condemns insecurity in Kapendo area

Written By: Claire Wanja

The government maintains that the operation will not be called off

The National Council of NGOs has strongly condemned the recent killing of senior police officers in Kapedo area in the North Rift region.

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The Council says the situation is sad and must be stopped.

“We urge the Government to act accordingly to save further losses of lives in the region.” Said National Chairman Stephen Cheboi.

” Peace is paramount and the people of Kapedo must enjoy Peace, we urge leaders from the region to cooperate with the Government to ensure peace sustainability prevails in the region.” He added

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On Thursday, West Pokot County residents held a peaceful demonstration in Makutano town against the Kapedo insecurity operation mounted by the government to flash out bandits.

According to the residents, the operation has seen a number of people lose their lives and left hundreds displaced.

The locals also paid tribute to the senior GSU officer who was gunned down by bandits in Kapedo on Sunday and to the six bodies which were recovered with bullet wounds in Arabal on Wednesday .

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While airing their grievances, the residents called on the government to halt the operation.

The residents who matched within Makutano township carrying placards with a message of peace,said the Pokot community  are like other Kenyans hence condemned the inhuman operation being done at Kapedo.

They said they are saddened by the killings in Kapedo and urged the authority to allow their leaders to dialogue for the sake of peace.

Meanwhile, leaders in Turkana County have urged the government to continue with ongoing security operations in Kapedo, Turkana East Sub County until insecurity in the area is fully contained.

The leaders also said they would not mobilize their residents to revenge and instead said they would allow the government to discharge its mandate of restoring peace.

Addressing residents at the county headquarters in Lodwar, the leaders led by Governor Josphat Nanok, deputy governor Peter Lotethiro, Turkana East MP Ali Lokiru, Turkana central MP John Lodepe and Turkana South MP James Lomenen, the leaders said the government should ignore calls from a section of leaders to stop the operation that is aimed at arresting insecurity in the area.

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Governor Nanok said Kapedo village has been under siege for many days and vowed to support the ongoing operation.

Governor Josphat Nanok addressing county residents on insecurity in Kapedo

He called on the government to declare the militants causing insecurity in Kapedo, a terrorist group saying it is an organized group with a leadership structure, an agenda and heavily armed and does not regard the constitution or government infrastructure.

“We cannot sit down to negotiate with terrorists. Until they stop these killings that is when we shall talk about peace,” said Nanok, adding, “I support government efforts to deal with the terror group and there must be no relenting because a few leaders are making noise all because of interests on geothermal resources,” he added.

Nanok said the militants who have killed at least three senior security officers among them GSU deputy director and a chief inspector of police among other civilians should be dealt with firmly like the operation conducted in Mt Elgon in 2008.

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The Governor said the conflict is not tribal, clarifying the Turkana and Pokot have coexisted peacefully after interventions by leaders.

He said the Kenya Defence Force should take charge of the operation to prevent more loss of lives among the security officers and civilians.

Lodepe said the government should arrest anybody defending the criminals in Kapedo.

“This is a fight between the terrorists and government,” he asserted.

At the same time, Nanok called on the county commissioner to ensure safety on the roads leading to Kapedo to enable the county government to transport food to the families affected by the conflict.

“We have food in our stores but because of insecurity on our roads it cannot reach our roads,” he said.

 

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