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Chiefs blamed for rising insecurity in Mt Elgon

26 July 2013, 18:06 Mwangi Karanja

West Pokot County commissioner Peter Okwanyo has blamed the area chiefs for upsurging insecurity between the Pokot and Turkana border.

Speaking on Thursday at Orwa village in West Pokot central district, Okwanyo lamented that the administration officers had failed on their mandate of holding peace meeting in the area to bring together the two rivals communities.

He said the increase in cases of cattle rustling in the area that involve both communities can only be settled through negotiations.

“Our officers need to bring people together through regular public barazas,” he said.

Okwanyo further warned chiefs who fail to adhere to government directives that they would be answerable to any possible occurrence.

He reiterated that he is pushing for elders' meeting from the two communities soon to resolve the regular cattle rustling and killings in the region adding that insecurity has derailed development in the region.

During a public forum in Kapenguria last week, the county governor Simon Kachapin said that he is pinning up a program aimed at propelling agriculture in the County.

He said the only solution to the cattle rustling menace is diverting the attention of youth who engage in the activities.

“We want our young people to engage in crop husbandry and stop depending on cattle theft. It has created a bad image for the county,” he said.

He said many developments project might not kick of owing to the rising insecurity since investors are not ready to invest in a County where peace is scarce.

He urged the government to build enough police posts between the borders of Turkana and Pokot, as well as between Pokot  and Uganda and pay police reservists who are helping restore normalcy in the region.

He said that the move would ease tension between the neighbouring communities and jumpstart development projects that have stalled for years.

The governor's move comes amid a pending request by the then County senator John Lonyang'apuo for the government to investigate Non governmental organisations in the area that are suspected to be fuelling animosity between the two communities.

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