Kindiki deploys special security team to quell Sondu ethnic violence

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has announced the deployment of a multi-agency security team to contain the escalating violent crimes in Sondu Town and its environs.

The town, which lies at the border of Kisumu and Kericho counties, has witnessed ethnic clashes that have left seven people dead and several others injured.

Kindiki said the special deployment will be supervised jointly by the Rift Valley and Nyanza regional security teams with firm instructions to ensure immediate resumption of normalcy and the arrest and prosecution of each and every perpetrator of the horrific crimes.

"This evening, the Government has deployed a contingent of specialist security personnel to contain the escalation of violent crime in Sondu Town and its environs," said Kindiki in a statement on Thursday, October 5.

"Lives have been lost, property destroyed, and civil order grossly undermined during the past two daysThe," he added.

The CS also revealed that local security heads have been transferred following the violence and new ones appointed to restore order and confidence among the residents.

"In the meantime, it has been decided to transfer all local security heads on both sides of the border and other security and public officers whose want of effectiveness, impartiality and/or competence is deemed to have resulted in the success of the criminals," he said.

Meanwhile, the Azimio la Umoja Coalition, led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, has blamed some political leaders for instigating the violence in Sondu.

In press conference in Nairobi on Thursday, the coalition called for investigations against individuals it believes are financing the violence.

"Let's make no mistake. The violence and mayhem in Sondu is not an ordinary disagreement between villagers. Big names are behind this violence," said Odinga.

Odinga further said that the clashes are brewing distrust among residents in the area and urged them to put down their arms and embrace each other as brothers and sisters.

"We wish to assure the innocent residents of Sondu, from either side of the border, that we are in solidarity with them. We also appeal to the residents to resist and reject those inciting them to acts of violence and lawlessness that bring no value to the actors and the victims," he said.