Sending in the army could help but devise a long-term strategy

Tuesday March 21 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order to deploy the military in regions experiencing security challenges was long overdue.

For more than two months, the North Rift, especially Baringo County, has been hit by waves of insecurity occasioned by banditry, cold-blooded killings, illegal possession of guns and uprooting of people from their homes.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) should have been sent in immediately it became evident the police had been overwhelmed.

The soldiers must, however, understand that there are innocent people there, including children, and go after the criminals only.

CARON WANGARI, Nairobi.

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I concur with Justin N Nkaranga (DN, March 20) that the government pressed the “panic” button too soon when it sent the military to the North Rift.

The bandits and cattle rustlers were once contained by police reservists.

And how can 100 armed groups assemble without detection by intelligence agencies?

The government must implement a long-term strategy to secure the region. What happened to plans to set up police training bases in Kerio and Suguta valleys?

Those who arm, bankroll, co-ordinate and host the marauding bands must be brought to book.

The authorities can learn from neighbouring Uganda how to contain cattle rustling and read how a Kenyan provincial administrator single-handedly ended banditry in former North Eastern Province.

Joe Musyoki, Kitengela, Kajiado.

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One key cause of the insecurity in the North Rift is cultural practices and beliefs. Top of the list is having livestock as the only measure of wealth.

It is presumed heroic to invade, kill or strike other people who own cattle and drive away the animals, leading to cattle rustling.

These wars are also caused by invasion of ‘territory’ by other communities for pasture, especially during the dry season.

Use of force might not be of any value here. One reliable way of ending this calamity is educating the residents.

Most of them are illiterate and, therefore, believe that the only way to solve problems is by use of force, not knowing that methods such as mediation work better.

The government should also ensure that residents have other economic activities for them to stop over-dependence on livestock as their only source of livelihood — such as irrigation farming.

Politicians whose areas have high insecurity should be investigated to determine whether they are using that to subdue their opponents.

Olonde Akinyi Diana, Maseno.

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Insecurity forced many Baringo residents to flee and caused loss of property and closure of schools.

The residents must have, therefore, rejoiced when the President sent in the KDF-police joint force. Some have since gone back.

Recently, Deputy President William Ruto reopened schools.

The peacekeeping force should now tell residents with illegal guns to surrender them or else....

MACREEN AWUOR, Maseno.