Security officers clear Loruk Road after the locals blocked it with stones over recent killings by bandits. [Yvonne Chepkwony, Standard]

Leaders from the North Rift region have asked the government to step up fight against insecurity along Kerio Valley.

They said the military should also be allowed to take full charge of security operations in the area.

They also urged the government to consider deploying more National Police Reservists (NPRs) and investigate cases of sabotage by police in order to bring a lasting solution to the insecurity menace.

Speaking on Sunday in Iten, the leaders said that it is high time the government deals with banditry once and for all.

County Woman Representative Caroline Ng’elechei said it is ironic that despite the heavy presence of security officers, the situation is still dire.

“I sense sabotage because things are not going as they should. I don't foresee such a scenario where the government is present, there are resources and its machinery, but the menace is still going on. I do not see why there is no change so far,” said Ng’elechei.

She added that investigations should be conducted, and officers found to be sympathisers of the bandits flushed out.

“Someone is sleeping on their job. If government resources have been dispatched to the region, why are we not seeing any change?” posed Ng’elechei.

"Only patriotic officers who mean well for this country should be left to work in the region."

She said officers deployed to Kerio Valley should receive extraneous allowances or more risk allowance due to the nature of their work.

Keiyo North MP Adams Kipsanai urged the government to consider increasing the number of NPRs, who he said will complement the police.

“We are tired of losing our people every day. We are asking that more NPRs be deployed because they have local solutions that will greatly help in this case,” said Kipsanai.

Marakwet West MP Timothy Kipchumba said Kerio Valley residents have been neglected by successive regimes.

“It is a shame that every regime has failed to silence the guns in the valley. It is time that this government ends this menace,” said the lawmaker.

Governor Wisley Rotich, who had last month threatened to arm his residents if the security agencies do not contain the situation, said that the government should be intentional about bringing a lasting solution to the menace because it is hindering development.

AIC Bishop David Kipsoi said the church has a role in ending cattle rustling.  

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