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HomeYour CountyNakuruPump More Resources, Upgrade Infrastructure in Restive Spots, Government Urged

Pump More Resources, Upgrade Infrastructure in Restive Spots, Government Urged

Human right groups from Nakuru County have thrown their weight behind the ongoing security operation in Laikipia County and urged the government not to bow to any political pressure from leaders.

They also called on the national and county governments in Laikipia and North Rift Counties of Baringo, Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu to explore ways of improving infrastructure to allow small and medium enterprises as well as resorting to irrigated agriculture as a way of securing alternative source of livelihood for youth involved in armed conflicts.

 Addressing a joint press conference in Nakuru, officials of Midrift Human Rights Lobby (MHRL) and Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) said both levels of government should re-design their strategies in fighting insecurity in restive parts of the country by giving priority to regional grievances caused by glaring inequalities in economic well-being.

Chief Executive officer of Midrift Human Rights Lobby Mr Joseph Omondi called on the government to pump more resources to the regions while addressing the issues that would cause conflict such as proliferation of illegal firearms, rivalry over water and pasture, funding of criminal enterprises by politicians and businessmen, boundary disputes and cattle rustling activities.

Officials from various human rights lobby group under the auspices of Nakuru Human Rights Defenders Network at a press briefing

“One of the long-term measures is to bring the regions into the nation’s economic mainstream. Counties along the border areas should initiate irrigation schemes with the help of the national government as well as improving roads, building schools and hospitals.

By implementing these development initiatives, youths in the affected areas would be busy and there would be no room for acts of lawlessness,”

Mr Omondi stated that the National Police Service needs to come up with a new unit that will be able to deal with illegal grazing and cattle rustling activities in rugged terrains and unfamiliar territories in troubled parts of the country.

 “We need to stop armed groups who are terrorizing communities, including even the security forces themselves. Having such groups in any part of our country is unacceptable, quick action must be taken to disarm them.

Intelligence plays a significant role in executing such an operation, especially when laying out a roadmap in planning and gathering information. Security operations should be pre-emptive to eliminate any possible threats to life and property,” he pointed out.

Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance Coordinator Kamunche Masese said security surveillance should be enhanced on the troubled borders of Nakuru-Narok, Baringo-Elgeyo, Marakwet West-Pokot, Baringo East-Baringo North and Baringo south.

Mr Masese urged leaders to lower the rising political temperatures as the country approaches next year’s August General Election.

He asked Members of County assemblies, Governors, Senators and Members of Parliament to embrace sober conflict resolution mechanisms whenever sensitive political issues pop up in the country.

The coordinator noted that it was disheartening that when issues pitting leaders against each other crop up, the noise level goes up and retards development.

Mr Masese added, “We call on security agencies to act speedily and decisively to arrest all those suspected to be inciting, fueling, funding and sustaining violence. The arrest of two politicians is a step in the right direction and should be followed by speedy prosecution.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations should conduct speedy and in-depth investigations into sources of sophisticated weapons being used in attacks in troubled regions. We call on Kenyans in affected regions to remain calm, desist from speculation and allow time for investigations,”

Programs officer at Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) Mwangi Muraya urged both levels of government to invest in huge water pans, map grazing zones, built more schools and open access roads in pastoral areas.

“In finding a lasting solution to banditry and illegal gun running the government should consider that pastoralist communities constitute a third of population in Kenya and occupy 80 percent of Kenya’s landmass, but their lands are yet to be officially demarcated.

The government should demarcate all pastoralists land and draw clear administrative boundaries. Strengthening devolution would also provide opportunities and transform pastoralists’ communities,” Mr Muraya observed. 

He called on community leaders to refrain from making utterances that could plunge the community into interethnic violence and desist from issuing ultimatums that creates more animosity.

“Citizens are obligated to remain vigilant, maintain law and order and cooperate with security agencies by volunteering information on suspicious activities,” the programs officer noted. 

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