Breaking News

Lobby says disarmament won’t help restore peace in North Rift

Friday March 10 2017

Security officers going after bandits along the Kitale-Lodwar highway. The government has been asked to use dialogue in restoring peace among warring communities in the North Rift region. PHOTO | OSCAR KAKAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Security officers going after bandits along the Kitale-Lodwar highway. The government has been asked to use dialogue in restoring peace among warring communities in the North Rift region. PHOTO | OSCAR KAKAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OSCAR KAKAI
More by this Author

The government has been asked to use dialogue in restoring peace among warring communities in the North Rift region.

Women from pastoral communities have said that forceful disarmament and security operations in the region will not help in restoring peace among the neighbouring communities but will subject residents to torture.

The women faulted measures being used by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery to disarm the communities in Baringo and Laikipia counties.

They said forceful disarmament will not enhance coexistence among the warring communities.

Led by the chairperson of African Coalition on Traditional Practices Lillian Plapan, the women said the government should come up with possible solutions that will help end outdated cultural practices and conflicts.

DISARMAMENT ILL-ADVISED

“Forcefully disarmament is ill-advised and dictatorial since all the communities [are] experiencing frequent attack,” said Ms Plapan.

Ms Plapan termed the shoot to kill order issued by Deputy President William Ruto as unconstitutional.

She said that the continued attacks in the region are as a result of the area being neglected by the government and failure to initiate any meaningful development projects.

Ms Lillian Plapan, chairperson of African Coalition on Traditional Practices. She has said forceful disarmament will not help restore peace in the North Rift and is instead rooting for dialogue among warring communities. PHOTO | OSCAR KAKAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ms Lillian Plapan, chairperson of African Coalition on Traditional Practices. She has said forceful disarmament will not help restore peace in the North Rift and is instead rooting for dialogue among warring communities. PHOTO | OSCAR KAKAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“Those who are engaging in cattle rustling don’t know the government, they only know the chief [and] that is why they were forced to acquire guns to protect themselves,” she said.

She reiterated that forceful disarmament will only cool down tensions in the region but a long-term solution must be found.

KILLINGS CONDEMNED

“We strongly condemn the killings going on in the region. We are asking local leaders to sit down and engage each other through dialogue because the biggest causalities of these attacks are children and women,” she added.

According to Ms Plapan, the government is executing the security operation in Laikipia and Baringo counties in an unprofessional way.

“As women, we are not happy how the government is handling this security issue,” she said.

Ms Plapan, who is also the Director Setat, a non-governmental organization, asked the government to allow peace committees and elders to initiate meetings with the locals and suspend the forceful disarmament.

“Residents know who have these firearms and if they are asked to surrender they will do it willing fully.

“Forceful disbarment will not help unite the communities since both innocent people and criminals will be subjected to torture,” said Ms Plapan.