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Pokot MPs promise to recover remaining guns by Wednesday

11 November 2014, 08:20 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Pokot MPs have promised to recover the remaining three guns out of the 24 that were stolen from slain police officers in Kapedo by Wednesday.

Tiaty MP, Asman Kamama who led a group of other Pokot leaders at a press conference said 21 guns have already been recovered from unidentified bandits with the help of a group elders, professionals, and some journalists covering the ongoing operation.

However, Kamama condemned the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) operation in Kapedo saying it only aims at recovering the stolen guns without arresting perpetrators, harassment and killing of innocent residents, and destruction of property leading to violation of human rights.

“We strongly condemn the recent killing of police officers and ask the government to get to the bottom of the matter to bring perpetrators to book. So far 21 firearms have been recovered and the remaining three guns will be recovered by Wednesday,” said Kamama.

“The deployed KDF in Kapedo has only succeeded in burning shopping centers, not to arrest the perpetrators. Such destruction of property equals to economic sabotage which is similar to the 2007/8 post-election violence arson act that is a punishable crime,” warned Kamama.

He revealed that they have called in human rights organizations and called on the ICC investigators to be on the ground in Kapedo to monitor security officers who violate the human rights provisions for prosecution after the operation.

Also read: Five guns recovered as operation continues in Kapedo

“There are two road blocks installed by the KDF between Tiaty and Chemolingot to block residents from access to basic needs such as water and food which is a human rights issue. The former MP’s five houses have also been burnt, he is now homeless,” said Kamama.

He also challenged the government to adopt friendly disarmament operation such as the previous “Operation Dumisha Amani” initiated by former Internal Security Minister, the late John Michuki, where Kamama held that it worked successfully through voluntary handing in of illegal firearms by residents.

“We will not accept police to enter Manyattas and confiscate property, cows and camels. This is impunity being perpetrated by police in uniforms. A comprehensive and simultaneous operation should be conducted around the region not just in Tiaty,” said Kamama.

Kapenguria MP, Samuel Moroto said the operation is unsuccessful since the KDF officers are scaring residents who would be of great help in the disarmament process.

“The region’s terrain is a major challenge to KDF who are then scaring people who can help bring the firearms. The officers can’t move two kilometers away from the road hence killing anyone and destroying nearby property,” said Moroto.

Moroto concurred with Kamama’s proposal that peace and security particularly the prosecution of hardcore perpetrators in the region can only be achieved through the deployment of the Kenya Police Reservist (KPR) officers.

“Intelligence-led KPR officers have to be deployed placed in strategic places in the region to carry out the operation by identifying and arrest bandits. Special economic programmes should also be initiated to restore peace and eradicate the outdated cultural cattle rustling,” said Moroto.

Sigor MP, Philip Rotino called on pastoral community leaders to preach peace instead of castigating messages meant to cause hatred and divisions between the two warring communities.

Rotino also called for the release of 16 boys being held by KDF officers as suspected criminals in the Kapedo operation.

The MPs were addressing the press at Parliament Buildings.

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