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Politicians on the spot for role in Kerio Valley conflict

Elgeyo Marakwet police co-ordinator Sharif Abdala said they have been surprised by the number of illegal weapons in the hands of civilians.PHOTO: COURTESY

As the bloodletting in Kerio Valley continues, local politicians are on the spot over their alleged role in the conflict. 

Some of the politicians have been accused of supplying the attackers with weapons used to stage the deadly raids while others are allegedly inciting residents. 

During public rallies and burial ceremonies, politicians from the warring communities traded accusations about  who is to blame for the conflict.

Elgeyo Marakwet police co-ordinator Sharif Abdala said they have been surprised by the number of illegal weapons in the hands of civilians.

"It is no longer in doubt that there are elements arming and inciting people. We are after such characters who include politicians, professionals and some wealthy individuals from the warring Pokot and Marakwet communities," disclosed the police boss.

TWO INDIVIDUALS

He said what began as a disagreement between two individuals from the two communities was now threatening to shut down economic activities in the Kerio Valley triangle. He added that the Government would not allow the conflict to continue.

"The attacks are systematic and co-ordinated. Intelligence reports indicate that some senior members of the two communities are aware of the whole system and it is only a matter of time before we unearth them," said Mr Abdala.

Members of the Marakwet community have been quick to condemn their Pokot counterparts regarding the attacks and have called for the removal of Tiaty MP Asman Kamama as the parliamentary chairman on security.

But Mr Kamama dismissed the allegations, saying he has been instrumental in peace building over the past 13 years. He claimed traditional men (laibons) had been performing rituals on the raiders before launching the attacks.

The developments come even as a meeting between the Pokot and Marakwet demanded an end to the senseless killings.

Meeting for the third time and at Lake Bogoria Spa Resort, away from the insecurity epicentre, they called for a ceasefire to allow for peace talks.

Led by West Pokot Senator John Lonyangapuo, the more than 100 leaders asked the national government to resolve the Kipsiren-Kipsiony land conflict, describing the long-standing dispute as the genesis of the conflict.

Interestingly, Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos, who are associated with the ruling Jubilee administration, failed to turn up.

Others who did not attend included Kamama, Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen.