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Govt to blame for West Pokot killings, MPs claim

08 October 2014, 11:56 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - Four MPs from West Pokot County have claimed that the discovery of oil, operational Turkwell power generation firm and the planned mega-irrigation scheme is the cause of insecurity at the Turkana and West Pokot border.

The MPs have warned the government of an impending massacre if it fails to take immediate action to stem the killings of innocent civilians living within border points of the two counties.

Pokot County Senator, John Lonyangapuo, blamed the government for failing to protect residents from attacks by unknown bandits especially at Kainuk, which is about five kilometers from Ngamia 1 where British oil exploiter, Tullow, discovered oil.

“There is very strong evidence that a lot of oil is on the side of West Pokot. The West Pokot villages which have been besieged by attacks is about five kilometers from Ngamia 1,” noted Lonnyangapuo.

“We feel that there is a big war aimed at displacing everybody from the oil fields in West Pokot,” he added.

Read Also: US security officials in Kenya to combat insecurity

Kapenguria MP, Samuel Moroto, said as elected leaders of West Pokot County, they have vainly played their part in stemming the killings and that the government will be held accountable for any impending massacre. 

“We have washed our hands…we have made numerous reminders to government to act on the issue of security and to apprehend the culprits who we believe are known to local administrators in Turkana sub-county,” said Moroto.

Pokot South MP, David Pkosing confirmed that 12 people were killed between August and September, 2014 with six more having been reported killed from the beginning of October.

Pkosing said the bandits’ heinous killings have occurred mostly in West Pokot’s Orwa, Samarch, Keses, Takaiywa and Naupong areas.

However, the West Pokot leaders disassociated the spate of killings from cattle rustling saying they were suspecting strangers of Somali origin who were freely entering the two counties through the border without identity cards.

“The government is feeding these bandits living in camps in Turkana County through relief food. The killings are not cattle raids related. We associate this type of killings with what criminals such as Al Shaabab and the Islamic State is doing,” claimed the Kacheliba MP,  Mark Lomunokal.

“They are doing ritual killings. They server heads including one of a 16-year-old. Their intention is to inflict maximum fear and perhaps have residents flee from their land that we suspect has oil,” he added.

Read Also: At least 7 injured in northern Kenya blast

Lomunokal produced pictures of the resident’s maimed bodies and warned that the Pokot community will decide to protect itself if the government fails to secure them.

Lonyangapuo asked the government to establish more police camps in the insecurity prone villages to curb the looming attacks and killings.

“We have also asked for more Kenya Police Reservists and guns to protect the people of Parkayo (junction of Turkwel and Kainuk) and Ombolion,” said Lonyangapuo.

The West Pokot Senator also called on the government to ensure there is equal distribution of security offices between villages of the two counties.

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