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Serut says SLDF plan to launch fresh attacks

BETWEEN THE SHEETS
By | July 19th 2011

By Robert Wanyonyi

Remnants of the deadly Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) are regrouping to launch another round of attacks, a former MP has claimed.

One time Mt Elgon legislator, John Serut, is urging the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) to push the Government into deploying more soldiers to the area.

Serut said the SLDF was not entirely eliminated as claimed and warned that militia commanders are still recruiting youths in readiness to unleash terror ahead of next year’s elections.

In a statement, Serut disclosed that a man claiming to have taken over the reins of the militia group from slain leader, Wycliffe Matakwei, is still walking scot-free in a neighbouring country. The man, Serut said, has been joined by former commanders who fled the area after the army launched "Operation Okoa Maisha".

"They are recruiting and planning fresh attacks to unleash terror on residents in Mt Elgon," claimed Serut.

He said the same SLDF remnants are behind a smear campaign against the military’s activities in the area aimed at portraying military personnel still operating in area in a negative light.

"Everyone in Mt Elgon knows the good work that the military has done to restore peace, hope and infrastructure. Those people pouring scorn on the work of army officers are SLDF sympathisers who must be investigated by the Government," demanded the former assistant minister.

He said that for the Government to reassure local residents, and those still fearing to return, of true peace, more military personnel had to be posted to the area to pursue the remaining militia commanders, members and their sympathisers.

The former MP added that the people of Mt Elgon wanted to participate in the 2012 General Election without fear of militia attacks.

Serut’s remarks are sharply in contrast with those of residents who have alleged that the army committed human rights abuses at the Kapkoto military camp near Cheptais.

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