Regrettable Govt Security Response in Turkana South

2014-03-22
I am so alarmed at what the government, through the office of the IG did to the people of Turkana yesterday the 21 March 2014 by disarming the KPRs and withdrawing GSU from Nakwamoru in Turkana South. On the night of 15th March 2014, a group of 500 raiders pounced on Kakongu village in Turkana South killing 4 people and stealing about 3000 livestock. The GSU from Turkwel Gorge responded by further killing one of the protesters in Kakongu instead of pursuing the attackers. On the night of 16th March 2014, a police officer was shot dead by unknown people in Nakwamoru. A good guess would be the fleeing raiders or the pursuing residents but we rely on the police to establish and tell us the truth. In a shocking move, the IG's office went to the ground to disarm the KPRs in Nakwamoru and withdraw security, thus rendering the already volatile region more vulnerable. The indefensible action does not only indicate government's desperation and helplessness, but acceptance of anarchy and rule of the jungle or maybe disregard for security of its people. We want to thank the IG Mr. Kimaiyo for the swiftness in responding in person but UNFORTUNATELY with a wrong unjustifiable intervention in a wrong place punishing innocent citizens. As citizens who have a constitutional right to security and life, our expectation was that the IG and government security machinery would visit the two sites to establish the offenders in both the Kakongu and Nakwamoru incidents. As local leaders, we are ready to cooperate with the police in this because we know that security is our collective responsibility. But surprisingly, the IG did not even visit Kakongu, the initial and actual scene of crime where we lost 5 lives, where the GSU shot and killed one person, where the area MP was accosted and almost shot by the same GSU. A few questions ensue:
  1. Do the 5 lives lost in Kakongu and thousands of livestock stolen mean anything to the government in the face of what we have just witnessed.
  2. Would the same happen elsewhere? Would security be withdrawn if a police officer is killed in Nairobi, Kiambu, Eldoret, Marakwet or Mombasa? What's the implication therefore for the people of Turkana? Are we lesser citizens? Does the constitution protect us equally? Is the colonial policy still in place- one that defined regions as high potential versus low potential; dorminant versus subordinate, open versus closed districts e.t.c
  3. Government security should not be seen to be taking sides with any of the warring communities. Withdrawing security from one and leaving the other is one such indicator.
  4. We demand to know who killed the policeman at Nakwamoru, who killed the 5 people in Kakongu and who stole the livestock. The police should handle the situation and not run away from their responsibility. Let them be reminded of the adage - "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."
  5. Finally, long term solution?
    1. Intensify state security in all the security hotspots which are already mapped out.
    2. The government should sort out the border issue on the ground. This is critical because the conflict is resource-based with each community protecting its land for access to pasture and water.
    3. The government to tame and put to task local politicians who are fueling conflict to gain personal political mileage. These people are also known. They are always captured on media telling country how far their land stretches. They mobilise and incite communities as well as fund these activities. Government is intelligent and powerful enough to handle this.
~ Hon. Joyce A. Emanikor, HSC, MP Turkana County Twitter: @jemanikor